5 Questions in 5 Minutes with Emma Davies

“You can take the girl out of Incite, but you can’t take Incite out of the girl”.

In continuation of our ‘in conversation with’ series, we caught up with Emma Davies, a familiar face who has returned to the Incite family this week.

Emma was previously an integral part of Incite for 12 years, so we are delighted to have her return as Senior Director in the Consumer Team and Client Experience Lead.

Read on to hear about her intriguing background in the wine industry, and what brought her back to Incite.

Or if you fancy a catch up, feel free to get in touch with her: emma.davies@incite-global.com.

Tell us a bit about yourself!

At the risk of sounding like a 1990s Blind Date contestant, I’m Emma, I live in a leafy corner of South West London with my partner Paul and our two daughters.

When I’m not working or spending time with my family, I love to:

  • Read (I’ve just finished re-reading the fabulous The Trusted Advisor, complete with sticky notes and highlights throughout, and am about to start the third Thursday Murder Club);
  • Watch a good film (although I always fall asleep half way through, much to my partner’s annoyance);
  • Take part in one of my newer hobbies (#1 adult ballet – I love it, but I hate the pirouettes – I feel sick!, #2 silent disco HIIT class – we all look ridiculous, but it’s such fun, #3 playing the clarinet – I haven’t played for 25 years and I’ve forgotten how to read music, but I’m enthusiastic, surely that will help!)


How did you get into the wonderful world of market research?

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I kind of fell into the world of research. I’ve always been a curious (read nosey?) person who was comfortable with numbers and chatting to people so once I started in the industry, it felt like the perfect fit for me.

I started my career in a boutique agency who specialised in market research and strategy for the wine industry. I’m repeatedly asked why I ever wanted to leave… my then housemates in particular were very disappointed when I left as there was always a bottle of something nice that I’d bring back to the flat.

I learnt so much about market research, travelled all over the world and even secured myself a qualification in wine (yes, that is a thing!)

I originally joined Incite in 2009 as employee #21. I’m proud to say I’ve worked in all three of Incite’s London offices, worked with some amazing people and clients and have experienced many very memorable Incite socials.

Prior to rejoining Incite, I was at Context+ for a couple of years before the pull of FMCG, helping to enhance our client experience and the opportunities offered as part of the STRAT7 groupwere too enticing.


What is it about Incite that brought you back?

I had always said “never say never” about coming back. In fact, I’m pretty sure I said in my leaving speech “you can take the girl out of Incite, but you can’t take Incite out of the girl”.

Once you learn and embrace the consulting tools we use at Incite and try to adopt a Trusted Advisor mindset with colleagues and clients alike, it’s impossible to go back.

Roger Banks, Incite’s MD when I joined, always said that running Incite was about doing great work, for great clients, with great colleagues. It sounds so simple, but it epitomises Incite then, and from what I can see, still does today.

For me, Incite has first and foremost been about the people. Whilst everyone is different, there’s a certain set of characteristics that make Inciters a wonderful bunch to work with – smart, dedicated, and low-ego. I’ve loved reconnecting with the team and meeting those who’ve joined while I’ve been away.


What are you most looking forward to about your new role?

My new role is a mix of new and old which makes it super exciting. I’ll be spending half of my time working with the Consumer team and the other half enhancing our client experience, with a particular focus on further embedding the Trusted Advisor mindset that is so important here.

Being part of the wider STRAT7 groupis particularly exciting, I love to learn and there is such interesting stuff going on within the group that I can’t wait to find out more about.


What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Having children and the turmoil of Covid years have changed my outlook on life.

Before, my ‘comfort zone’ was to plan, think through every angle and try to control as much as possible. I’ve come to realise that’s not very healthy (and is frankly impossible).

Three things I’d tell my younger self, that I try to live by now, are:

  • Change is good, change is growth
  • Trust your gut
  • Be yourself, everyone else is taken