DALLAS – Integrity Marketing Group, LLC (“Integrity”), the nation’s largest independent distributor of life and health insurance products, announced today its acquisition of Deft Research, LLC (“Deft Research”), the healthcare industry’s leading source for consumer and market data. As part of the acquisition, Deft Research Co-Founders Randy Herman, Dan Freier and Rich Hamer, along with Executive Vice President George Dippel and Senior Vice President Tim Brousseau, will become Managing Partners in Integrity. All of Deft Research’s employees will continue in their current positions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Over the last 15 years, Deft Research has developed a full suite of market research services that offer invaluable insights into the senior and commercial market as well as overall healthcare industry trends. Initially founded to better understand seniors transitioning to Medicare, Deft Research now helps all health insurance stakeholders make confident, educated decisions, create new product offerings and set higher standards of care. Deft Research gives a voice to the consumer in ways that were previously unheard of in the health insurance industry.
Deft Research is the largest provider of syndicated market research in the healthcare industry. Insights from their studies are used to understand consumers across the industry, shaping strategies for carriers, distributors and marketers. Findings from their data shape models that help predict consumer behavior — including interest in product type and which marketing and distribution channels reach consumers most effectively. This allows companies to understand what motivates purchase decisions and perceptions of coverage options, which in turn helps them better serve consumers.
“To truly innovate insurance, Integrity must ensure that customer voices are always heard and then constantly find better ways to serve them,” explained Bryan Adams, Co-Founder and CEO of Integrity Marketing Group. “No one in the industry understands consumer needs and preferences like Deft Research. We want to make buying, selling and marketing insurance easier for all stakeholders. This strategic partnership brings powerful synergies that will help us in our mission to better understand and serve Americans, so we’re thrilled to welcome Deft Research to the Integrity family.”
“Deft Research provides health insurance stakeholders with actionable insights they use to enhance their business operations,” said Randy Herman, Co-Founder and CEO of Deft Research. “As the industry has become more data-driven, we are unlocking immense opportunities to create value for carriers and agents by accessing Integrity’s platform and network of partners. Whenever a consumer is making a decision about insurance purchasing, we want to have a viewpoint about what’s driving that decision. Ultimately, this partnership will help carriers develop the right products for the right consumer and help agents present products to consumers in ways that best highlight the benefits they value most.”
More than 120 of the country’s largest health insurance carriers utilize Deft Research to conduct custom market research that helps them improve their products and member experience. Carriers use the findings from these proprietary studies to reduce uncertainty or financial risks and make better business decisions. Deft Research’s industry insight and knowledge are unparalleled in the health insurance space.
Plan member experience studies conducted by Deft Research help carriers understand the “why” behind member responses that drive carrier plan ratings. They also provide key insights into what drives change, giving partners a road map to continue to improve quality of membership.
“Integrity is bringing together experts across the industry to finally yield the full picture of how to best serve healthcare consumers,” said George Dippel, Executive Vice President of Deft Research. “We are constantly innovating new product and service ideas and we see that same commitment to innovation in Integrity. The sky is the limit as to what we’ll accomplish together.”
This partnership further enhances Integrity’s value chain, with Deft Research able to augment almost every component. Deft Research is the latest acquisition in Integrity’s journey to innovate the health insurance industry. Other recent strategic partnerships include CSG Actuarial, ThomasARTS, Connexion Point and SeniorCare Benefits call centers, Access Capital, Brokers International and Insurance Administrative Solutions’ third-party administrator — building a solid foundation for Integrity’s change trajectory.
With access to Integrity’s fast-growing network of partners, Deft Research can also add a new dimension to the depth of its insights by delving into the agent-customer relationship. The data and results garnered will help Integrity reach consumers where they are with relevant products designed to better fit their needs. In addition, both carriers and agents can recognize changes in the marketplace as they are happening, providing new opportunities for growth.
“The Integrity partner network is extremely collaborative, which offers significant advantages for today’s opportunities,” shared Tim Brousseau, Senior Vice President at Deft Research. “By representing the voice of the consumer in these collaborations, we’ll uncover critical ways to enhance the insurance experience overall. We’ll see the insights we provide impact and improve the industry in real time — it’s incredibly exciting and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
As an Integrity partner, Deft Research will gain access to a wealth of proprietary data and resources only available to Integrity’s platform of industry leaders. The visibility into Integrity’s network will provide insights and data to accelerate innovation in the industry. Additionally, Deft Research will utilize Integrity’s centralized business functions, including HR, accounting, IT, legal, and a full-service marketing and advertising firm to maximize business efficiencies. Deft Research employees will also receive meaningful company ownership through the Integrity Employee Ownership Plan.
“A partnership between Integrity and Deft Research is what innovation in action looks like,” said Steve Young, Chairman of the Board at Integrity. “The entire industry takes a step forward when we create efficiencies that give the consumer an improved insurance experience. We will see transformational changes to consumer relationships and the product development process from this powerful partnership.”