CRC 2019 Podcast Series

2019 CRC Series – Emily Palmer Brown – Wells Fargo

Welcome to the 2019 CRC Series. Recorded live in Orlando, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Emily Palmer Brown, VP of Digital Manager at Wells Fargo.

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Hi, this is Jamin. You’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. The next set of episodes are conversations I had at this year’s Corporate Researchers Conference or CRC. This is put on by the Insights Association in Orlando, Florida. I had quite a few interesting conversations highlighting specific companies that exhibited this year as well as a couple of speakers, Wells Fargo, IBM, etc. I hope you have a really good rest of your day and enjoy these short episodes.


We are live today at the CRC, which is corporate research event in association with the Insights Association, and we are on the exhibit floor. Cocktails have been flowing. I’m one deep. Emily brought it to me. Emily Palmer Brown with Wells Fargo, thanks for being on the podcast.


It’s my pleasure.


So, tell me a little bit about what you’re going to give in the presentation.


So, my partner, Sharon, and I are going to be talking about bringing the human to life in market research. Oftentimes people will do quantitative research and develop market segments. And what we’re presenting on is how to illustrate and illuminate really the humans in there with retail personas or consumer personas or experienced personas and how people can create their own, how we care for and nurture and create ours, how we use them day to day.


So, personas in the context of like marketing or…?


Yeah, that’s a good question. So yes, in any context really. So, we primarily support the digital design experiences. So that’s product line of business as well as designers. And Marketing Wells Fargo is an enormous organization.


It is a big company.


It is a big house. And marketing tends to have their own research, what we’re very friendly with. They do different types of research. We use our personas, (See, this is a spoiler alert. If somebody listens to this before my talk tomorrow.) and we use our retail personas to truly understand the emotional drivers of user behavior to help inform strategies or design. So, really specifically where will somebody be using this and how will they be feeling when they’re using it?


Is that like sits next to customer experience or user experience?


We sit right in customer experience, user experience.


Got it.


We sit right in the experience design group.


Perfect. Okay, that makes a lot of sense to me. Give me a little bit about your background ‘cause we’ve just met, give me a little context.


We’re only one beer friendly. So, I started in social work actually.


Oh, you’re kidding.


No, I’m not. I am passionate about people and making sure that people can make choices to make changes or live the life they want to live. And social work, I think, is typically thought of with the downtrodden and the underprivileged. And that while that’s true, humans across the board, we all have aspirational lives that we want to live, and we all have things that get in our way. We get in our own way. And so, nine years ago, before I joined Wells Fargo, I was really excited about the intersection of finance and technology.




I thought it really would level the playing field. And it does, right? Information is so available. There’s tools readily available. And so, I get really excited. I don’t work in a bank by accident. I work at a bank because I come from a background in social work, and I’m all about informing people or making sure that information is available so that people can be empowered to live the life they want to live.


Think about WhatsApp, picking on them for a minute. India, for example, they’re leveraging WhatsApp to conduct financial transactions, which is the core of this micro-shopping environment, right? I don’t have enough information to be able to give you a real example without sounding like a jackass, but it allows you to transfer money, which is the big problem and conduct these activities that otherwise you would not be able to do with just cash.


You think about what is so exciting with finances today. So, my son… I have a collection of kids and one of them plays hockey and was going off with his hockey buddies. And I said that I would pay for his part of the house. So, he sent me a text, “Hey, could you send me 50 bucks for the house?” I accidentally touched the 50 in the text probably to say, “Oh, my goodness, $50! Where am I going to find $50?” But I touched the 50 and, in that moment, I was able to send him $50 without leaving the text message. Never mind the app, never mind opening another app, authenticating myself, picking an account, blah, blah, blah. Right? It was so seamless. It was frighteningly easy to give away my money.


I mean, it’s powerful.


I flushed my phone down the toilet immediately after.


You wish. I’m going to send you a text right after this. And it works the other way, right? I mean, nobody’s texting us money, but on the other side of it,


…but they could.


They could. You could.


You could. Let’s exchange numbers.


Insights Nation Look in the show notes for our numbers.


Support this podcast. Text money.


Yeah, that’s right. I feel like it’s turned to one those like telethons back in the day.


Oh, we could entertain. I mean, that’s what they did.


They did. That’s right. Unfortunately, not quite that. Who was the big telethon guy?


I know this. Jerry Lewis.


Jerry Lewis. That’s right. Sorry, folks. I’m not going be able to pull that off, so…


I’ll take credit.


Have you seen any interesting companies? I know you’ve been canvassing the place.


I, at my core, am still a goober, and so I gravitate to the people who have actual books because I love books. I love books, but there’s lots of exciting things here. And again, that intersection of technology and research, that’s one of the reasons that I’m here is because there’s so much happening out there, and there’s lots of ways to constantly be in touch with customers or prospects or just have your finger on the pulse. And it’s really all about staying connected to people, which rebuilds community, which technology is kind of maybe breaking down or maybe creating. It depends on the day how I feel about that one. But there’s a lot of really exciting things happening and there’s a lot of neat vendors here with terrific ideas doing things that I didn’t know were happening. So, I’m thrilled.


Yeah, it’s really cool. I would recommend… I don’t get paid for this. There’s a company over here…


But if you did, they could text it.


Yeah, that’s right, called SightX.


Wait, did I meet that person earlier?


I can’t remember.


This probably doesn’t need to go on the podcast.


But, anyway, they’re right over there. Emily Palmer Brown,


Palmer Brown, yes.


…with Wells Fargo. Thank you for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


Thanks for having me.


What do you think about our stickers?


I love your stickers, but the podcast people can’t see them. So, I’ll visually describe this happy shark who’s sporting a lighthouse tattoo, or is that a Marlboro man tattoo. Oh, it’s a tattoo of the Happy Market Research.


It’s the Mafia.


Okay. All right, kids, well, I’m bringing you stickers. Don’t say I don’t bring you anything.


Have a great rest of your show. Good luck on your talk tomorrow.


Thank you very much.