The Silicon Review
We are the premier provider of independent intelligence, market research, opinion mining, sentiment analysis, strategic services evaluation, and competitive consulting services to healthcare and medical organizations worldwide: Douglas Brown It’s an exciting time in healthcare.
The industry is evolving more rapidly than ever before. Policy changes, payment reform, technological innovation, rising consumerism and the evolution of effective marketing strategies – all propelled by a swelling wave of millennial momentum – are ushering in a new era in healthcare data science.
As the priorities and tendencies of both patients and healthcare professionals transform, the need for brands to engage with their audiences in a meaningful way is vital to achieving success in a shifting industry landscape. In light of the above mentioned, we are thrilled to present Black Book Research, a full-service healthcare-centric market research and public opinion research company.
The firm was established in 2010 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.
Internationally Recognized Author
The founder of Black Book™ authored ‘The Black Book of Outsourcing’ published by Wiley & Sons Publishers in 2005 and 2010. The book, available in 7 languages, was featured on the non-fiction business bestseller lists of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek.
Interview Excerpt: Douglas Brown, Founder/CEO
Why was the company set up? How did you select the healthcare vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?
Since 2002, this firm has polled the vendor and service firm satisfaction across over twenty industries in the software/technology and managed services sectors around the globe. The company started on an international scale with outsourcing buyers in business processes, call centers, information technology, finance and legal services. In 2009, the outsourcing research business unit (known as Brown-Wilson Group) was sold to Datamonitor, a division of Informa. At the height of the outsourcing upsurge, we sold the assets of the globalization research firm to an internationally recognized analyst firm based in London UK that sought to complete its organization with Brown-Wilson Group’s outsourcing and global business division.
My first careers before global marketing and competitive research were as a hospital administrator, managed care executive and sales leader in a Fortune 10 healthcare conglomerate in information systems and pharmaceuticals. The entrepreneurial move from corporate management into outsourcing and offshoring intelligence and then into medical industry business research was a thrilling but familiar challenge.
In 2010, I launched the Black Book™ trademarked business that polled the client experiences of healthcare software and managed services users. It quickly expanded its survey prowess and reputation for independent, unbiased crowd-sourced surveying from Chief Information Officers as was the industry standard, to wide-spanning polls of IT and health records professionals, medical practice administrators, nurses, financial leaders, physicians, financial officers, ancillary department heads, trustees, operations leaders, business office supervisors, CEOs, and hospital information technology managers. The crowd-sourced approach to determining customer satisfaction and loyalty to IT vendors grew into evaluating healthcare industry consultants, advisory firms, managed care and health insurers, alternative medicine and post-acute/long-term care.
It could be argued that the single biggest challenge facing competitive intelligence and market research firms was not client engagement or user excitement but rather the evolution of innovative standards and methods such as mobile applications and real-time data collection. Healthcare providers were seeking an alternative to the status quo in healthcare technology analysis. They were seeking unbiased, independent source of current user experience data. Coincidentally, healthcare technology and services vendors were seeking a new, innovative, unbiased champion of marketing influence. It was the opportunity in time and circumstance that Black Book seized.
Tell us about your first market research product that was launched.
Black Book’s roots as Brown-Wilson Group first began client experience and satisfaction polling in the international outsourcing and offshoring industries in 2001. Banking, insurance, retail, manufacturing, and energy sectors were Brown-Wilson Group’s focus and the company quickly became the proclaimed kingmaker of several outsourcing vendors and delivery locations such as India, Philippines, Brazil, Eastern Europe and China. The bestseller status of ‘The Black Book of Outsourcing’ (Wiley Publishers) gave the user satisfaction polling firm a meteoric rise in demand for competitive data on vendors worldwide and became an industry standard for support in vendor matching and selection processes.
The system devised first in 2003 to crowdsource feedback on key performance indicators included “The Best Managed International Outsourcing Vendors” covered by the Wall Street Journal and “The 25 Most Dangerous and 25 Safest Outsourcing Destinations” covered by CIO Magazine. This KPI approach by users on qualitative measures allows for peer review and recommendations, difficult to otherwise uncover in a consultant or analyst recommended vendor selection.
What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
We learned early to work with the trade, industry and business media and press to not only provide vendor rankings but to provide support polls on activities or strategies that explain why trends are occurring. We also learned the value of being vendor agnostic and not to sell or contact any vendor until after a public survey results were announced in the media. Providing independent insight directly from users and not massaged by an analyst firm give the research real value. Black Book™ is not an analyst organization. We are a satisfaction, loyalty and business trend polling organization which provides relevant data to decision makers including analyst firms, investment bankers, venture capital groups and quality assurance organizations.
What do you feel are the reasons behind your product popularity?
The paradigm shift away from pay-for-play vendor evaluations in the technology and managed services space explains our huge leap in popularity. We are the new, undisputed leader in healthcare influencer marketing because we offer insights that are current, qualitative and never pre-financed by any vendor or service provider.
Are there any trigger factors/events/individuals that have played key roles in shaping your organization’s road map?
The mix of experiences in our research management team: hospitals, physician groups, managed care, long-term care, clinical services, healthcare financial services, government healthcare, technology and service vendors keeps us nimble. Government incentives for electronic health record implementation and meaningful use kicked us to the higher level of competing head-to-head against long-established research firms in the niche. Since then, ACA reforms, MACRA, mishaps in connectivity and disconnects in interoperability, DOD, physician practice acquisitions, hospital closures, revenue cycle modernizations, facility and IDN mergers, analytics, international adoption of healthcare IT, population health and predictive medicine are pushing Black Book to be the leader in influence marketing and competitive research firms.
Over the years, Black Book has become adept at understanding the unique needs and issues of the broad spectrum of the entire healthcare industry it serves. We also have a special understanding of the unique survey research requirements for the industry’s clinically, technologically and managerially diverse stakeholders.
Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
We are rapidly expanding our service offerings to interactive and user-accessed data sets, more extensive subscription offerings and knowledge centers, and surveying capabilities including Health Consumer/Patient polls, Managed Care Membership surveying, Hospital services satisfaction, patient satisfaction, as well as consultative and outsourcing options in healthcare organizations. It’s our goal to be the industry’s first go-to source for independent, unbiased satisfaction and loyalty polling, trends identification and competitive analyses by this year. Supporting providers and consumers in making the best decisions motivates our competitive spirit and collaboration with the industry.
The Brain Behind The Operation: A Brief Background
Douglas Brown: Doug Brown is a sole founder of Black Book Market Research LLC, and a co-founder of The Black Book of Outsourcing LLC, as well as Brown-Wilson Group, Inc. As a worldwide recognized thought leader in technology and services marketing, particularly in the healthcare and outsourcing industries, he is a frequent speaker and presenter for industry associations, agency networks, universities, and business conferences. He is a co-author of the bestselling book, The Black Book of Outsourcing, ranked by Amazon as one of the top ten books on Business Leadership Practices, published by John Wiley & Sons. The book was included as #70 on the 100 Best Business Books compiled by the International Association of Media Editors in 2014.
His consummate expertise in the areas of healthcare, business development, economic expansion, market share growth, private equity, client experience polling, customer satisfaction surveys, loyalty assessments, predictive analysts and qualitative market research is the driving force behind Black Book’s success.
Last year, Black Book was recognized at the 601st fastest growing private company of all industries and sectors by Inc. Magazine, and named the Best Small Cap Market Research Firm for Excellence in Opinion Mining by US Business News. This is also the second year Black Book has been named to Silicon Review’s Top Ten Fastest Growing Healthcare companies.
Mr Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science/Public Administration from the University of Florida and a master’s degree program in Hospital and Healthcare Administration from the University of Houston. He has also completed a graduate certificate in Global Marketing & Business Development from the London School of Economics.