Emma Mallett is in marketing and business development for a B Corp. She also helps young marketers build a career, via her Concrete Club platform and podcast.  

Listen on Spotify, Apple or YouTube.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Working for a B Corp
  • How marketing and sales can work better together
  • Building a career
  • Fighting back from life threatening adversity  


Strategy Sessions Host – Andi Jarvis

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Interview Transcription

This transcript has been done automagically using Happy Scribe and hasn’t been checked by a real person, so there may be some hilarious mistakes where the AI can’t work out our accents – I’m sure they’re trained on just the American accent.

Eyup and welcome to the strategy sessions. I’m joined today by Emma Mallett. Emma, welcome to the podcast.

Hello. Thank you very much for having me on the podcast.

Thank you for coming in. It’s been great to meet you again. We met initially in Exeter at the amazing Building Brands conference. And how good was that day?

It was so good. So good, yeah.

Dave Briggs. Hi, Dave put a great event together

and Chris Bentley.

What? Oh yeah, and Chris Bentley.

And Chris. Oh, never mind Chris. Who cares about Chris? Don’t care. Chris was just there doing… He was adding the banter. That was it, wasn’t it? Dave and Chris put on an amazing show down in Exeter, and I was honoured to be part of it. So what a day, what an event. Who was your favourite speaker that day? I’m not pushing for you to say me. Please don’t say me. Say me.

Me? No, me.

I didn’t see you speak.

Well, I didn’t really speak.

I went outside for a bit of fresh air because I think I was on later.

Yeah, I was just doing a quick introduction with Sean Tilson. First time speaking in front of 400 people.

And how was that?

Yeah, scary.

Terrifying, isn’t it?

Yeah. I think once you do it, it’s then okay. It’s not so scary.

The reason I didn’t see you is because I get really nervous before I go on stage. Oh, really? Even now? Yeah, all the time. I think if you don’t get nervous, there’s probably something wrong.

So you’re not the first person that has said that to me? Really? No.

It’s something that comes I have certain physical cues that I know, I mean, I’m getting nervous. My hands, people sometimes say they get sweaty hands. I don’t. My hands go cold. Oh, really? Like they belong to somebody who’s died.

Like your heart rate nods.

Yeah. And they just go ice cold. And so I’m like, oh, shit, My hands have gone cold. I can feel my heart rate going up. I get a taste at the back of my mouth. So I’m like, just go outside, get some fresh air, pace it out. And the thing I do is I go over my opening, my introduction, because once you’ve done your introduction, you realise you’re not going to die. So you I’m like, oh, I can do this now. So I just go over my first two or three slides. I don’t really memorise presentations except for the opening and the closing. Everything else is… I know roughly what I want to say, but the slide acts as a trigger to tell me, All right, we’re talking about this thing, and I’ll just tell you the interesting points. If you saw me do the same presentation the next day, you’d get something entirely different. But the opening would be identical and the closing would be identical. And that’s just to make sure that I get rid of the nerves when I go on stage and I leave the audience in the right place at the right time when I’m done.

But it is terrifying. Yes. I was told, who did we have on? Somebody came on the podcast a while ago, and I’ve completely forgotten her name, and I do apologise. But she It was behavioural psychologist, and it’s really annoying me. I can’t remember her name. She mentioned about the fight or flight response that comes in when you do public speaking, stuff like that. But if you think about the name of the response, it’s fight or flight. So You stand up in front of a bunch of people, 400 people at Exeter. You can’t start fighting any of them because that’s not what you’re there for. You’re not Tyson Furia.

I could try. Yeah.

I mean, it would be a memorable presentation. But you can’t run away either because that also isn’t what you’re there for. So you internalise all that stress because you can’t do either of the two things your body wants to do. And when you start to think, oh, yeah, so that’s why I’m having that response. So once you can rationalise it and I write it down sometimes because when you write it down, it just takes all the power away from it. There’s my top tips for you. So anyway, we’re here to talk to you, not to talk to me. So I’m going to shut up.

No, that’s in a minute.

We met and we had a conversation and I was like, Emma’s great. Let’s get Emma on the podcast to talk about all the different stuff that you’re involved in. Let’s talk about your day job first. Where’s that? Who’s that with?

I work with Optimising IT. Excellent. They are a B Corp-certified IT and cybersecurity provider. I don’t know if that makes sense.

That sounds like you’ve just read it from the website.

What does it-It’s locked in.What.

Does it say? You’re the outsource provider of IT support services for small, medium-sized businesses? I suppose when you get to a certain size, they’re in-house, that?

So the more ambitious growing businesses, but we can also support the smaller businesses, too. And we can do the full IT support or we can act in a way that supports their current IT team. And then we also provide cybersecurity as well.

That’s the radio ad in one take. Done.

Which I’ve been learning all about it. And I actually now care a hell of a lot about a cybersecurity because I didn’t realise how big of a part in life it actually plays for everyone.

I do some lecture at a university, and being able to log on to your emails is the most painful process of my entire life. I only do it one… I’m a guest lecturer, so I do very little about. I was gurning about it to somebody. I was like, Why is it so difficult? But if you think about it, once someone’s in that system, everything’s a problem. They just make it difficult for It’s very painful. It’s very painful. It’s actually awful.

Yeah, well, I think I realised that as well, a business can go down within a day if something happens. It’s not just that, it’s more like we were doing a cyber security session and we had somebody come in and they said that their grandparents had been hit by a hacker who took all of their life savings, so over £60,000. That’s where I’m like, That needs to change. How do you stop that? Because that affects vulnerable people. That’s what I care about, I think, is Working for a company that does good for people, planet, community, has a good impact.

That’s one of the things I wanted to talk to you about because working for a B Corp, I think I only know one person who works for a B Corp other than you. What What does that look like when you have to remember that triple bottom line? Or maybe not everybody, we have some American listeners there probably like, What’s a B Corp? What are you talking about? Just give us a very brief, What is a B Corp? And then tell us what challenges that has for you as a marketer.

The way that I sum it up is B Corp essentially means that the business has been assessed to prove that it essentially does good for people, planet, and also making profit as a business.

They call it the triple bottom line, people, planet, and profit. Is that what they call it? I Yeah.

It’s almost prioritising all of that. Normally, a business will be made a B Corp because someone or some people within the business have chosen to do that because they care. Then normally, the whole business, the ethos, the team, all have the same mindset. And there is something so different about working for a B Corp and with other B Corps. And yeah, for me, it’s so nice as a to be able to think, Okay, how can I do my job? But then how can I also do things above that?

So when you’re working for a B Corp, you don’t just work with B Corp, do you? You work with any company? Yeah. So as a company that is looking at people, planet and profit, and protecting the environment, do you try and evangelise that to your clients as well, or is it just a thing that helps you sell more? How does it work? How do you use it in practise?

So the reason why I like the company I work for so much is because it is such a fundamental part of the decision making that we make within the business. So in terms of the sales process, I will qualify that company in terms of, do I want to work with them? Does the company want to work for them or work with them? And does that align with B Corp values? And if it doesn’t, then we won’t work with them.

So it’s in the qualification process as well?

Yeah.wow, brilliant.Yeah. And yeah, even down to the marketing, what MQLs, SQLs do we want? Yeah. And if they hit the same, I guess, alignments and values and ethos as us, great, because then we can work together, help them, but then also work together on events or marketing campaigns where we can then do better and do good for the community. So helping raise money for charities. Yeah, spreading awareness.

I love it.So it works. I didn’t realise it’d go all the way through to the sales process as well, which I absolutely love. So you are involved in sales as well as marketing. So you mentioned there about sales qualified leads, marketing, qualified leads. So talk us through that process, firstly, of wearing two hats. Some sales and marketing teams hate each other. Sales marketing. What’s that like being involved in both camps?

I absolutely love it. I was very lucky that when I was at uni, I did an internship with a marketer who’s very passionate about spreading the message that sales and marketing are very much meant to work together. Two sides of the same call. Yes. I think from that experience, from then on, I then saw things in a different way. Then I did an internship here in London in the summer, and I then was able to apply that thinking to the strategy and the planning which I was doing on the internship. I’m now able to do that where I am now. I see other businesses now where you can tell when their sales and marketing isn’t aligned.

Often before you even walk in the door, you can just tell, can’t you? Yeah.

I don’t know how many businesses have you worked with which haven’t done that.

Which haven’t done that. Probably only a handful have worked with their sales and marketing have been in the same team and in the same department. And there are definitely benefits to having that. There can be drawbacks as well. When businesses go through tough times, sales becomes all important, and therefore, none of that marketing, it just becomes down Unplayed. But I think that happens in organisations, whether sales and marketing are together or not. But most organisations I work with, they are separate and causes issues.


Where do you draw the line for MQLs and SQLs? And I hate talking in acronyms on the podcast, but we’ve explained it’s marketing qualified leads. It’s just easier that way. But where do you draw the line? Who’s responsible? There’s always a lot of finger pointing I find comes in and who does this and who does that. So when you were doing both, I was like, That’s interesting.

Yeah. I think The bigger picture is strategy. So where are you actually going? And if you want to have a certain client that hits a certain ideal client profile, say you are a B Corp and you want to work with other B Corps, you’re not going to get those sales leads without telling the world through your marketing that you are looking to work for those kinds of businesses. But that’s sales marketing, but then that’s your strategy for the next however to move along because that’s where you’re aiming to go. So, yeah, once you think like that, I think then you’re able to then put the pieces together in a different way.

So you’re working with the leadership team at your organisation? Yes. So in terms of that link between business strategy, this is where we want to take the company in the next five years. And then does that philtre down into you and you’re helping to set the marketing and the sales strategy from there?Excellent.Yeah. I’m always interested in the processes people go through, not to tell you whether you’re right or wrong, just because it’s always interesting how different people tackle those challenges. How do you tackle that challenge where the instructions come down, like in five years time, we want to be triple the size of turnover, we want to be working globally or whatever it is that the big ambition is. How do you tackle the problem? What do we do this year?

We talk to each other a lot. Radical. Which might be radical. It is. Yeah. I think, I don’t know if it’s working for a B Corp or the type of people within the business. But I’ve always felt that I’m able to share my ideas and share my opinions. But that also goes from the people in leadership as well. So they will openly share their thoughts and opinions as well. So we just talk about it. So there’s never any question. So I know, okay, the business wants to be here in five years, 10 years. Then I can think, Okay, in my job role, how can I do the sales and marketing to help get that business to that strategy or where it wants to be in five years? I can just ask questions. I can just go to whoever I need to ask and just say, How would this help us in five years? Is this the right thing for us for five years time?

There’s a power in asking questions, isn’t it? Yeah. A, tell someone that you’re after their advice, but B, also just clarifies because so many assumptions are made. The myth of communication is that it’s taken place. Everybody should know these things. But by asking questions, you open up discussions and you learn new things, but also maybe get understand the nuance of what somebody meant by a certain thing at a certain point that they just think everybody else understood because they did.

Yeah. I think I don’t know if… I’ve been very lucky with my experiences in the last year where I’ve been to feel that I can speak up. But I know absolutely for sure as a young person starting my career, I really didn’t feel that way a year ago. I think it’s also for young adults getting into their career to learn that it’s okay to speak up and ask the question, and if it’s not, are you in the right place?

So as a pensioner in this discussion, what are the things that you think have changed? Because if you’ve got someone who’s my vintage Thinking, right, yeah, actually, the younger people in my organisation don’t really speak up. What changed over that year that made you feel more comfortable to speak up? Was it you that changed? Was it something within the supportiveness of the organisation that changed? What would the pensioners listening to this be able to take away and think, okay, maybe I need to look at doing something like that?

I would say it was the people around me. So the people that gave me the opportunities and the environment in which I felt able to speak up for the first time and get the confidence to then carry on doing that. That was… I think to then, especially my time in London on my internship, I absolutely did not think I could do what I was able to do and contribute to and speak up within boardrooms that I love to.

Are you allowed to talk about what you did? If you can’t, don’t worry, we can just move on.

I don’t I don’t know how much I can speak about.

That’s all right. I know you’ve told me. I know. She told me off her hair.

I think for leaders within large organisations, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from being able to give young people the opportunities and the environment to learn that they can speak up and contribute, because actually, I think it, one, changes their life completely, and two, you might get some ideas that might be quite good that you’ve not thought of that you can then go and take to your clients and go and use in your strategies. Yeah.

Excellent. No, it’s fine. I’m sorry for pushing you and asking questions you couldn’t answer. You couldn’t talk about.

Well, so I think I can say it was for a company that did marketing strategy and planning, and I was able to take part and learn from pitches and meetings for clients that were very large organisations.

What’s the world of marketing like compared to what you thought it would have been like when you first started?

Oh, that’s a good question.

Pause on that one for a minute. I want to go back a step and talk about what happened at Uni and your scholarship.Yes.Because I think that… Tell us about your scholarship first. I’m doing this all out of order. We’re talking about different companies in different times, But tell us about your scholarship. What did you study at Uni? How did the scholarship come about?

So I studied animal science at Uni, which is nothing to do with marketing. But I gained a place on a scholarship that was funded by Sir Andrew Whitty. So he was CEO of GSK. And him and the family left some money for students from low income backgrounds who were also mainly from diverse backgrounds as well, who were entrepreneurial but not studying a business degree in the business school. I applied with a business idea and I got a place on that and That scholarship completely changed my life. In terms of giving people the opportunities and environments to gain confidence, speak up, contribute.

What does it say? They say that talent is equally distributed, opportunity isn’t. So something like that that does open some doors can be, like you said, life-changing.

Yeah. I wouldn’t have been able to do my internship, which I did in London, or my internship, which I did earlier in the year, had I not done the scholarship. Yeah. Yeah. And I was able to develop my business idea and one regional finalist in the ingenuity business competition. And I fell in love with marketing. We did a consultancy challenge, so we helped a marketing agency work on how they could become more sustainable. So all the links have been there, I think. And now I look back and think, Oh, okay. I’ve ended up doing almost what I was doing a year ago, two years ago on the scholarship. And it even gets down to the point of it gave me access to a network and education that I never, ever, ever would have had access to. And had I not had access to that, I don’t think I’d be in marketing now.

So you had the door open to you then in terms of a future in business instead of maybe more animal sciences line. So then coming back to the question I asked before, what is the world of marketing like compared to what you thought it might have been like when you started that journey?

I think originally, I had no idea what marketing actually was. I didn’t know if I ever be able to understand it.

We’re pretty shit at telling people what marketing is, aren’t we, marketers? We’re really shit at that.

Well, I think I didn’t know. Yeah, I guess I didn’t know. What the world of marketing was like. And that’s the thing. I didn’t know that strategy and strategic marketing was a thing. I spent some time with Barclays in the summer doing work experience there. And I spoke to some people there and they explained to me that people get paid to come up with ideas, strategic ideas for businesses and how that can be implemented through marketing. And that’s a job role. And I didn’t know that that was a thing.

That’s the thing, yeah. It doesn’t really exist until a company gets to a certain size because it feels like… In smaller companies, it feels like a passenger role. Not a passenger, but it’s like, What do they do? But Rory Sutherland, who was on, talked about commercial innovation as a role. So not necessarily developing new products, but understanding maybe how selling them in a different way can make you more money. The example he gave, for example, was bottles of shampoo. If you sell them at under 100 mills to sell in airports, still the same shampoo, but that’s a commercial innovation that actually, if you look at the price per litre, triples it.


Really profitable commercial innovation. But Many companies don’t see that as a benefit to them. They just, Oh, the sales team are close to the customer. They’ll tell us it. No, they won’t. The sales team just tell you what the customer wants to hear, generally.


I sound like I’m down on sales. I’m not. Sales teams are fantastic.We love sales.Yeah, we love sales. Sales teams make the world go around, but they are quite myopic, one-eye-focused on just one thing most of the time, which you need someone who’s going to take a wide view rather than just look at, Let’s just delight the customer right now because I need to sell them something. What’s going to delight the next raft of customers or the next ones, or how do we continue to delight them in the next five years rather than just, how do we sell them right now?

Yeah. I think that’s an important thing is, again, it’s how are they? They might have a sales cadence and they’ve got, okay, this is the data that we’re working from. But how are you determining who is in that data? Is that matching where you want the business to be in the future?

I used to work with a CEO. This is many, many, many years ago, over 20 years ago. I used to work with a company where the sales teams were pretty good and had some unchallenging targets because they knew how to play the game. So they would broadly, a good salesperson within a week could hit their monthly target and then would just Coast around for the rest of the month doing very little. And sometimes I know one salesperson in particular who took two weeks off and went on holiday and just answered his phone every day as if he was out in When he wasn’t, he was on holiday because he just got enough claims there and he was just pushing them through. Brilliant. But that’s the reality of sales for you. You set them a target and then they will deliver on it.


But they’re very focused on it.

Nothing else. But I wonder whether that’s more of a culture.

Yeah, undoubtedly.

And I think that’s why it’s so hard to break through that, I guess, cultural perspective of this is what we’re working on. We’ve got the target. We don’t have time to think about marketing. Where does this fit in? But I guess if you break that culture within sales, you then get sales people who become more creative, more strategic. They’re able to contribute more to the marketing as well. And you’ve then got a holistic team that are doing everything, and then they end up building their personal brand on LinkedIn.

It’s all great. I think one of the things you hear from marketing team, in that organisations where sales runs the show, is that when things go well, it’s all the sales team. When things don’t go well, it’s because marketing doing their thing. And you’re like, So are we important in this? We’re generating all your leads. No, no, no. Well, so then it’s your fault. And you get into this finger-pointing game. But it does all generally come down to culture and incentives. Because if you incentivise teams in a certain way, they perform in a way that will help them achieve their incentive. So if their incentives don’t align, then there’s a problem. And one real practical example of this, a company I worked with relatively recently had their marketing team incentivise quarterly and their sales team monthly, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you’ve got someone said, Yeah, but it doesn’t matter about having to do that this week because we’ve got the quarter to hit that number. And you’ve got a salesperson going, No, I need to do that by the end of this month or I miss my bonus. That’s a little thing that just sets up a friction between two teams.

That is just not aligned between quarterly and monthly sales targets. So it’s culture plus how you pay them, I think it’s an important thing.

Yeah, Yes. That brings me on to another thing where I think collaboration is as important as competition, where it’s good, it’s healthy to have people within the team competing. But especially when you’re trying to get sales and marketing to work together, if they’re feeling like they’re competing against each other, they are not going to collaborate with each other. So you’re not breaking through that, I guess, culture. Yeah.

It’s I love the whole… If I had the stomach for it, I could probably just make this consultancy all about sorting out sales and marketing problems between teams, but I just couldn’t spend my days doing that.

What would you, I guess, how would you say in a quick… To sum it up quickly. How would I fix it?We could go on for days.

There’s a classic marketing answer to every question, which is it depends because it is all very context-specific. But I think the thing that you touched on is culture is important. I think remuneration is important. It’s much more operations stuff that is often causing the problem. What’s the handover point? If it’s in an industry like yours between a marketing qualified lead and sales qualified lead, what’s the feedback process? Because none of these processes are ever perfect. If you’re passing marketing qualified leads onto salespeople, if you’re not hearing back from the salespeople to tell you whether that was great or that was shit, you’ll never know if you need to refine your or not. And where do you put the line? How qualified do they need to be? Do you need to qualify them more? Do you need to qualify them less and hand them over? There’s no perfect point for this. So it’s just all about going in and understanding what the gripes are, listening, but not necessarily always acting on what you hear because people do like to win. And then just trying to find that plot a path for that. But I think the key thing is about finding momentum because you can look at a sales and marketing operation, even a good one or a bad one, it doesn’t matter.

And it doesn’t matter what you’re trying to change, that there’ll always be a huge number of things you need to change. And if it looks unachievable and people are busy and they’ve spent two days in workshops with you and I’ve got to get back out on the road and hit my target and I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do that. Nothing ever happens. You go back a year later and nothing’s changed. So what I’ve learnt over the years is to find those small steps that create momentum but do have a difference to start things moving. Because once that ball starts rolling, I’m mixing metaphors here, but once that starts rolling downhill, it becomes unstable. But you’ve got to get moving first and create momentum. So it’s not always about, I can see what the big flashy problem is here, but if we try and tackle that right now, we don’t have the goodwill and the momentum and the team on board. So let’s see if we could tackle that, that, and then we go for the big problem.

Yeah, because I guess it’s an incremental change within the whole business. So it’s not really something, I guess, you can just be like, Right, cool. Let’s do this. Next day, it’s all.

And especially as a consultant, as an outsourcer as well, you’re there by consent, mostly, rather than by instruction. So if you run a team of 20 people, you can tell people to do things. They might not like it, but they have to do it. When you come in as an external consultant, you don’t carry that power to be able to say, I need you to do that now. You can say it, but no one does it. Very little come back. So you have to try and be able to build consent within the team and build trust to say, these are the things we need to go. This is the journey we need to go on. Those little wins when you’re consulting can be really important in just building that. They go, ‘Yeah, he knows what he sounds like he’s talking. ‘ ‘Sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. Oh, that works. Okay, yeah, that one works as well. ‘ And then you get to go along and tackle the big thing.

Yeah, yeah. And in terms of, I guess, telling sales marketing teams how to do things, do you find that you have to tell them, or do you find that they’re able to start to pick up on like, Oh, cool. ‘ I understand that this is a strategy. Oh, I have an idea. Oh, I want to try this. And then they go and try it themselves proactively. Or do you find they still have to be more guided?

90% of the time I’ve worked in organisations, most people aren’t stupid. They know the problems. They just don’t either know the solution or they maybe know a solution but don’t have time to implement it because they’re too busy running around doing many other things. So more than half of my job is just taking things people say in the organisation, putting them in a nice slide deck and giving it back to the client and charging them a fortune for it. That’s not what I do, but that’s the bulk of it. It’s just listening to people and going, All right, I can see. And finding a way of delivering that sometimes. Most people know what the problems are and that life will be better if they fix them. Now, you might have 10 different people and four of them think we should fix it that way and four of them think we should fix it a different way. So, yeah, there is sometimes about finding the best way through. But most people understand there’s a problem and that we need to do something to fix it. There are sometimes you have those conversations where you’ll be sat in an organisation, we’re like, Look, we need to lose some headcount.

Who do you think should go? I’m not sure we’ve been through the process properly to do this, but But there is within every team someone who most times dead would as well. And often negativity creeps in with that. Is that old Peter Drucker phrase, Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast? Setting the culture right, which is not what I… I’m not a culture consultant. I’m a marketing consultant, but there is bits you put in place about that. But yeah, that’s an important thing to do, is make sure the culture is right, to get everybody generally pulling in the same direction.

Okay, yeah. Does that help? Interesting, yeah.

I want to move on from sales and marketing because we could sit and kick salespeople around all the time. I wanted to talk about something very different. Tell us about the Concrete Club.

Yes. Firstly, I just want to answer the last… I think the question I never answered was, what did I think of marketing Good God.

Yes, tell us that first.

I now have realised I used to think that marketing was a part of the business, a role within the business. Whereas now I see marketing as a completely different thing where you can actually change consumer habits, behaviours and demands through your marketing. So you can help then essentially drive a change in behaviour in the public and within communities and nations to change their behaviour and what they want. I think using that to help push forward or things like B Corp, sustainability, doing it for people and planet, the power that marketing has in terms of that, I think, is a whole other level. I think once you start to see marketing as that, you then also think, Oh, my God, there’s so much that you can do.

The scary thing is when you’ve met a lot of marketers, we put that power in the hands of so many idiots. I’m only joking. I’m not kidding. I’m only joking. I’m not kidding. No, I’m kidding. I’m kidding. That was supposed to be funny. No, but you’re right. I think there is a lot of… When harnessed correctly, I think there’s a lot of power and a lot of good we can do. It’s not always harnessed correctly, sadly. There are lots of examples of markets as… Not just markets, products that maybe prey on people and things. But marketing, everything is neither good nor bad, but it has the power to deliver a number of good things.

Yeah. My time in the summer on the internship, that was… One of the campaigns was to help a big enterprise business this, work out how they can start getting more into sustainability. And they’re a company that you wouldn’t think that what reason would they have to get into sustainability? But because it’s their marketing, and that’s the way they want to go with their marketing, their customers will naturally also then follow and get more interested in sustainability.

I know you can’t talk about the company, so if we get too close to specifics, don’t answer. I don’t want to get you in any trouble. But Sometimes when companies look at things like sustainability as marketing campaigns, it quickly veers into greenwashing, which is one of the things that I think everybody knows what greenwashing is. But when it comes from the core of the company and it’s what we want to achieve as part of our strategy over the number of years, that’s different because it’s driven from the inside out rather than just being a stick on thing from the outside. Is that what you were seeing, that it was a company orientation? It was coming from the middle of the company to run through everything?

I think, I don’t know if it’s the way that the future is going, but I think that it was a genuine want from the business, not just a greenwashing marketing thing. And that’s when I realised the power of when it’s right and it’s for the right intention.There’s so much power in it.Perfect. Yeah.

Excellent. Cool. On that note, on that positive, tell us about the Concrete Club.

The Concrete Club is a new… Well, I don’t know what to call it yet. I’m not used to…New thing.It’s a new thing.It’s a new thing. It’s a new thing. That I have set up. I, myself, I was in a bad car accident when I was 18, and I was hit by a concrete mixer in my car, and that gave me a brain injury, which I had to recover from. And I was stuck in the house. I didn’t leave the house for the first six months. My mum became my full-time carer. I had to learn how to speak again because I would mix up the letters in words and I would stutter. Had memory loss, couldn’t remember people’s faces.

I think it’s a bit for everyone listening to say the only words that come to mind at the moment, fucking hell.

It was a very much like, fucking hell. But I couldn’t even think that at the time. I didn’t really… Yeah, it’s all a blur now.

So the car you’re in is hit by a concrete mixer. Yeah. That has potentially life-changing consequences for you. You fight back over a 6, 12-month period?

Well, I’d say I’ve only just really recovered. It took me a good three years.

But if I’m getting the timeline right, in that three years, you’ve also been to university to study animal science, gone on a scholarship funded by Lord Moneybags. I’ve forgotten his name. I’m sorry. What was his name?

Andrew Witty. Andrew Witty. But he is very far from that. From Lord Money Practise.

I know.

I’m joking.

You’ve done a couple of internships up in the Big Smoke and you’re working in sales and marketing and also helping out the Exit of the chamber of commerce. And all of this while, as you just said, your own words, I’ve only just recovered. Fucking hell.

I think now that I’m When I’m able to do those things because I wasn’t able to do them, I recognise how nice and how great it is to be able to do those things.

There’s an overcoming of an adversity angle to this story, and that’s huge and impressive. I’m not trying to belittle that and just talk about the Concrete Club, but there’s a level of tenacity, I that you need to come back and touch what I’ve never had a problem like that.

Yeah, hopefully never.

Yeah, hopefully never. So I’ve never had a problem like that, but there’s a level of dedication, tenacity, and bloody mindedness that you need to come back from that. Because you must have been frustrated at some point thinking… Because when you’re 18, everyone’s out drinking, partying, going to eye bifer with the mates and all that stuff. And you’re sat at home with your mum as a full-time carer. That’s got to be Yeah.

So it was very tough. It put a complete stop to my life. So not just the social, but my career, my education. So my college didn’t know if I could go back to get my qualification, in which case then I would never have been able to go to uni. There was a point in time where I didn’t know if I’d be able to go to uni. I didn’t know if I’d be able to work again. I didn’t know if I’d to move the house again. It was tough. I had clinically severe, complex PTSD and depression as a result of what happened. I also had to battle through that mental health battle as well. I think it’s given me an understanding now for what other people go through.

I would say so. I’m interested in… I know nothing about PTSD, and I’m I’m always really wary of Nobeds hosting podcasts talking about things, especially mental health things, where it’s easier to dish out poor information to people of talking about things that they don’t know. So just be quite clear, I don’t know what I’m talking about with this, but I’m going to ask the question anyway. You said you had clinical severe PTSD, and you’ve started something called the Concrete Club, which you will share in a minute, but that is clearly named after the incident that happened. Is that a healing process to call it that, or is it just part of your journey through this? Do you know what I mean? Is it triggering to call it that for you?

How does that work?Not anymore. No. It was for a very long time. Everything about it was triggering. Yeah, I can imagine. Yeah, it was tough. But for me now, I think I’m now at the I was at a stage where I recognise that I’m not able to speak up for others who can’t speak. I didn’t have really any support or help that was, I think, that is what the Concrete Club is. I got help through mentorship and support and guidance from people who were very, very kind to give me their support and their time. But I couldn’t find anywhere that would give support I thought two people that have suffered brain injuries to rebuild their life, but with a career perspective as well.

Yeah, so not just on function on, you can go to the shops on your own, but here’s how you get into a career.

But not just that. It wasn’t just the brain injury. It’s for, I guess, then I was thinking, well, anyone who’s had PTSD or depression or mental health. Then I thought, well, actually, my scholarship in itself helps so many people, whether they’ve suffered from mental health or not. I just wanted to recreate that, I guess, support and help that I’ve had for other people.

So the one thing you haven’t done just yet is just explain exactly what the Concrete Club is and does and who for. So tell us a bit.

I think it’s going to evolve over time. At the moment, I am starting my own podcast, so you will see Andy on the podcast. To give people access to a network and information and advice through a podcast that they normally wouldn’t have access to. That is because I think that podcasts are so highly accessible. For someone who perhaps can’t leave their bed or can’t leave their house, if they have access to a phone, they can watch the podcast. And to be able to get information for them to learn and go and build their career, it can start at home. It can start when they’re in bed.

Yeah. I think it’s an amazing turnaround. It’s an amazing thing you’re doing to be able to say, look, I can see a problem here and I’m going to solve it. I’m going to try and solve it. And I know that sounds really reductive and simple. I’ve seen a problem Here’s a solution. But the number of times people see a problem, understand the solution and just walk on by for various reasons, it’s just maybe not the right time to do it or they don’t know how to tackle it. But the fact that you’re going to say, I’m going to give this a go, I think is hugely commendable. It took me till I was about 36 before I had the bottle to do that. So I’m impressed. So what’s your next step? How are you going to create that momentum we talked about? What’s your first step? Launch a podcast?

Well, the first step was saying I’m doing this. This is a thing. And I wouldn’t have done that had I not had people around me telling me, Just do it.

I have a guy, Andy Borthwick, and I talk about this semi-regularly. I’d been boring Andy with my business idea for Eximo for many months and over a bio, and so I was like, So I’ve got this. I’m going to do this. And he’s just like, Just fucking do it. I was like, Yeah, but he was like, Just do it. Just do it. Do it.

Stop talking. Do it.

And when you’re like, I’ve been talking about this and dancing around, waiting for perfection forever. If you wait for perfection, you never do it.

Just fucking do it. Yeah, that’s what I’ve learned so far from marketing as well is, don’t wait for when you think it’s the right time or when you think Yeah, now, it will never happen. You have to just do it. And if you fail, fail fast, learn quick, try again.


Preach, sister.

I’m learning. Yeah, just go for it. Just go for it. So you’ve said you’re going to do it. You’ve got a podcast coming out soon called The Concrete Club.

So The Concrete Club will be the place for the podcast to be, and it will be on the YouTube channel.Excellent.On.

The channels. Sometimes it’s good to throw things out there because other people might be able to help. What help do you think you might need in the next 6-12 months?

Well, anybody that would like to share, I guess, their experience, their career advice, get in touch with me because we can do a podcast session and we can get it up for those people to hear and learn from.

Emma’s contact details are in the show notes.

Yeah, down below. I think I’d like it to evolve into more of the community. For people to have somewhere that they can go to share that journey as well, because it was a very lonely place when I went through what I went through.

I don’t know your mum. I’ve never met the woman, but mums are fantastic. Mums are heroes, often unsung heroes, and are there all the time. But I imagine that having your mum as your sole carer, at some point, she’s like, I’d just like you to go away for a little bit, mum. And that’s not because she don’t love your mum, but it’s just you’re a teenager. You just don’t want to be surrounded by your mum the whole time.

I think what I needed was examples of people that had been through what I had been through and that they were okay.An aspiration.Now. And that’s why I’m also doing what I’m doing, I guess, is because I know I know how desperate I was to know that I would be okay. And I think to see someone say, I’ve been through this, this has happened, I’m okay now, it’s fine. That is, I think, the driver for me.

That’s immense. I hope it goes well. I hope it works. And if you need any help, just shout. And hopefully people are getting to it and go, I could probably help out with… Or maybe have a story to tell for that type of thing.

I’d love for it to be community. I’d love for that to be events.

Yeah, more podcasts.Fantastic stuff.Yeah. So as your role as the Southwest’s busiest woman as well, tell us a little bit about what you do with Exeter Chamber.

So with the chamber, I represent optimising IT on the working board of Exist. So Xist is the STEM branch of Exeter Chamber of Commerce. Okay. Yes.

Excellent. So that’s about getting more women and girls focussing on STEM subjects in Exeter in the South West.

So that is anyone who wants to get involved with STEM. I then am also… I’m now the lead ambassador for Which? Which is women in tech and cyber hub.


So that’s for women who are working within tech and cyber. So that’s support community.

And unbelievably, in your spare time as well, you have other hobbies.


I I’m just trying to put all this together. And then I go to the gym. Yeah, spare time. And you’re a power lifter as well. Can we talk about that? Too late. I’ve asked the question anyway. Why power lifting?

It’s painful. It’s really painful. For me, that That’s the healing thing. I was very, very weak physically, emotionally, mentally. I went to the gym and I just started lifting. And then I realised that I was stronger I thought I was. And then I pushed it and then I was like, Oh, okay, I can lift more.

It’s addictive, isn’t it?Yeah. I mean, I hear power lifting and will never be a power lifter. It’s disgusting. I feel sick. But I have two things in common with Tyson Fury. Only two things, maybe three. Terrible beard. But the two things I have in common is we both have amazing and very understanding lives. And if we stop training, it’s not a great thing for our mental health. That’s probably the only two things I have in common with Tyson Fury. I was watching that documentary that he did recently about how if he stops going to the gym, he said, I just collapse, everything just goes. I train twice a day, most days, and I was like, I’m not there. But if I stop running or gym in or doing something. If I don’t get outside most days, I’m like, I’ve been inside. I can feel the chaos rising within me. I’m like, I’ve got to get outside. I’ve got to get outside.

I do find it also helps me with my mental health. I think getting to the gym and it’s just the time to zone out and just focus on something else. I think it’s so beneficial for people’s mental health, especially people that have suffered PTSD and depression. I’m also now neurodivergent from my brain injury.

You weren’t previously?

No. My brain, I is wired differently now. And for my brain to be able to just switch off is so important. And I can almost tell if I haven’t been to the gym that I’ve not been.

I am training for a marathon, which I’ll be boring everybody about. Which marathon? Leeds Marathon. So Rob Burrow, the rugby league player who got motor neuron disease. It’s the marathon set up by him to raise money. And when I train, when I run, in fact, when When I go to the gym, I don’t use earphones, I don’t listen to music. And I tell people this and they look at me like, you’ve just looked at me now.

You’re like, yeah, like that. Why would you do that?

I spend my whole day looking at screens and noise and digital and all sorts of people at me. So when I go to the gym, none of that. I don’t want music in it. There’s music in the gym anyway, but I don’t need my own playlist to go to the gym. I can’t stand it when I’m going for a run. I just want to just let my mind wander and run for an hour and a half, two hours and just let your mind wander. It is terrifying, but also really liberating. When people are you, but everyone looks at me the way you looked at me, you’re like, Why did you do that?

Did you do that? If I don’t have my headphones, that’s the worst thing ever. If I I go to the gym, my headphones are dead. No, that’s it. Ruined your workout. Day ruined. Day ruined. I’ll be in a bad mood. Another reason why I also love it is I am also now technically disabled from my brain injury. I have I have something called FND, which is Functional Neurological Disorder. That gives me seizures and chronic fatigue, and I can feel very weak. I like to be able to feel strong. When I feel strong and on the days when I’m not so strong, I know, okay, it’s fine because last week I got hit. Yeah, I did that.

I have two questions to round this podcast up with. One is easy as neither. What’s your favourite Power lifting exercise? Deadlift. Deadlift. I knew you were going to say deadlift. I knew you were going to say deadlift.

I love it.

Excellent. The second question is back to talking about marketing. Do you have a book that you love? A recommendation. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be about marketing, but do you have a book recommendation you could give to the listeners and viewers?

Oh, a book called Waking the Tiger. It’s really good. What’s that about? So it’s all about how you can learn to live alongside trauma.

Oh, excellent. That sounds fascinating. Again, linking the show notes. That was transformative for you when you read that to be able to face into?

Yes, but even applying it as a marketer. So if something doesn’t go well or a strategy doesn’t work or something doesn’t go to plan, yes, it’s not majorly traumatic, but having that resilience and those coping mechanisms can help you within your role to just go, Okay, cool. It didn’t work. Fantastic. Move on.

Yeah. it’s a good book. Brilliant. And a book no one else has ever recommended on the podcast.Thank you very much.Thank you. Emma Mallett. Thank you for your time. Thank you for coming in.Thank.

You very much for having me on the podcast.