MEET EI: Q + A WITH DAN KENT-SMITH
This week, we sat down with Dan Kent-Smith, an SVP in our London office, to chat a bit about what brought him to EI, his #1 passion project right now, and the best advice he has ever received. Enjoy!
What’s your role at Edelman Intelligence? What kind of work do you do?
I’m SVP in the London office, looking after all things Tech.
Previous places of employment?
Data-Driven Storytelling Ltd. (my own consultancy), LinkedIn, BuzzBack Market Research, Millward Brown, The Guardian Group, Framfab, and Research International.
You came to Edelman Intelligence because…
I wanted to work in comms marketing, so I ran my own LinkedIn campaign targeting Edelman personnel. After that, it was down to the wonderful people that interviewed me – you know who you are – and the company values.
Describe Edelman Intelligence in three words.
Integrity, fearlessness, and social (in all senses of the word!).
Working in research and analytics: accident or design?
Oh accident, 100%. I majored in Advertising and originally wanted to be an Art Director. I fell into research when the deputy MD of Research International asked me to ‘help out’ and provide cover over the summer break. After a couple of months, they asked me to join their graduate scheme. That was the best part of 20 years ago! I’ve been in the industry in some shape or form ever since.
Describe your typical work day in 5 emojis or less:
#1 passion project you are working on right now:
We’re working on a study around the psychology of color to help fuel our client’s comms strategy over the coming months. Color informs and shapes our decision-making in ways we can’t always comprehend – especially at a subconscious level. I’m excited to unpick this, understand more, and prove the importance and impact of color on our lives.
In your opinion, the coolest thing happening in the world of intelligence right now is…
A.I. and it will be with us sooner than we think. But, I will say this, rather than the scaremongering that often goes hand-in-hand with A.I., I don’t believe there will be a radical impact on the number of jobs in the research industry – just the type. And those that are already in the industry will have to upskill and adapt pretty quickly.
A culture of collaboration must…
Believe in a common purpose.
What three skills do you think are essential to fulfill your role?
- #1. The ability to listen – active listening if you will.
- Problem-solving and strategic planning.
- Interpersonal and communication (both oral and written) skills.
Best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
The desire to succeed must be greater than the fear of failure.
Best piece of personal advice you’ve ever received?
Buy good shoes and a good bed. If you’re not in one, you’re probably in the other!
To explore careers at EI, click here.