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March 17, 2014 Issue

The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information


Digital Media and Product Directory Services for the Bio and Life Science Segment

About CompareNetworks

CompareNetworks, Inc. brings buyers and sellers together in the science and healthcare markets by delivering high quality product information to end users and highly targeted media services to manufacturers.

Brian Cowley

Brian joined CompareNetworks in 2011 with an extensive 25 years of experience in database marketing, media sales, business & corporate development and executive management. More recently he served as President & CEO of AdInfuse, a mobile advertising company that he sold to Velti in 2009. Prior to AdInfuse, Brian was Vice President of Mobile Advertising at InfoSpace. Previous to this he was the VP & General Manager of the Sponsorship & Services Group at eBay, a $140M business unit. Brian spent over ten years in the Internet search and advertising business, primarily as co-founder and Senior Vice President of Sales & Business Development at LookSmart, a company he helped grow from a start up to a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company. He began working in digital media in 1995, working at Netscape. He championed the “destinations” service which later became the foundation to Netscape’s NetCenter. The first ten years of his career was focused in database & direct marketing working for Dun & Bradstreet & Equifax. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

“CompareNetworks is very good at connecting buyers and sellers within the Bio & Life Science markets- the proof is in the success that our manufacturing clients share with us and the long standing relationships we have with most of the major brands.” - Brian Cowley

395 Oyster Point Blvd, Suite 321
South San Francisco, CA 94080





Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – March 17, 2014


CEOCFO: Mr. Cowley, would you tell us the focus of CompareNetworks, how it got started and how long you have been with the company?

Mr. Cowley: CompareNetworks is a 14 year old media company, focusing in the bio and life science segment. We primarily are in the business to bring buyers and sellers together by providing digital media and product directory services that result in qualified lead generation.


CEOCFO: What are the needs of the science and healthcare community that you address?

Mr. Cowley: We bring together buyers and sellers by satisfying the needs of our end users (dentists, ophthalmologists, optometrists & scientists who are seeking to find specific product information to help in their research or practice. In the case of the pharmaceutical market—our primary offering here is to help executives who are seeking solutions with a fast growing segment called “pharmaceutical outsourcing”. Our goal is to be comprehensive in product information across our markets so end users searching on Google or direct to our vertical sites—,,, and We list over 2 million products offering extensive information including the ability to compare products side by side. For example, our Biocompare site also has one of the largest and most established directories of antibodies. We facilitate millions of searches for antibodies annually. Another example might be that a scientist is searching for a mass spectrometer (a device that analyzes atoms), by searching either via Google or coming directly to our site, and we provide a comprehensive listing of all the companies that offer the particular product that they searched for along with product spec information so they can compare some of the product attributes.


CEOCFO: Are the websites your property?

Mr. Cowley: Yes, they are all our property.


CEOCFO: How do you reach out to these companies?

Mr. Cowley: We find out about the companies primarily through two main ways. One is that we have an editorial staff that conducts the research to make sure that we have comprehensive product listings across our extensive subcategories. Second is that our sales team has forged relationships with virtually all of the companies in the respective verticals we focus on. We structure our business relationship whereby we provide a variety of product listing and digital media offerings to help maximize their interest in connecting with the end users they are targeting.


CEOCFO: What separates CompareNetworks from its competition?

Mr. Cowley: CompareNetworks is very good at connecting buyers and sellers within the Bio & Life Science markets- the proof is in the success that our manufacturing clients share with us and the long standing relationships we have with most of the major brands. We are at what we do because of our vertical industry expertise coupled with the fact that we have almost 15 years of experience in understanding digital media, digital platforms, product directories and our end user audiences. As a result we have a substantial number of end users and manufacturing relationships.


CEOCFO: Are those all listed as dot coms?

Mr. Cowley: They are all dot com websites keeping our brand name accessible via,, as mentioned prior. Similar to most digital media companies, we are found via general search, generally from Google. Scientists looking for a particular antibody or doing a particular type of research would put that query into Google, and if we have done a good job in terms of the quality of our listing and related content then our results will rank high in the algorithm.


CEOCFO: Does your focus on the healthcare and life sciences and the background of your staff give you an edge in this field?

Mr. Cowley: We have hired many former lab scientist as well as other experts across our various vertical markets—so yes, this gives us some important advantages. This makes a difference in our product development, user experience and overall end user engagement. The ultimate validation of this is the quality results (product sale conversions) we drive for our manufacturers. My background is slightly different than the typical CompareNetworks team member. On the one hand, I don’t have a deep health science background, however, as of next year I will celebrate 20 years in digital media starting at Netscape at the beginning. I was recruited to CompareNetworks several years ago to help the founders take the company to the next level. Privately held and private-equity backed, our objective now is to further leverage our digital platform technologies and capabilities, in the web, by our recent acquisition of scrazzl (a platform that matches our product listing data to highly relevant life science and healthcare articles). We are pioneering some exciting things with our mobile platform—all in line with our mission to bring buyers and sellers together in our markets.


CEOCFO: How do you generate revenue?

Mr. Cowley: We primarily drive revenue either thru fixed fee or cost per action every time a product listing is accessed by an end user. This fee is paid by our manufacturing clients. We supplant this core offering with a variety of media services based on the client needs—digital and or print advertising (we have several magazines in our science markets), email and e-newsletters, video services (we have a team of very talented video creative editors who have built over 3000 client product videos), webinars and other digital services. Most of the products mentioned support “lead generation”. More recently we introduced a mobile platform product that helps our clients close more leads as well as engage with end users directly via tablets. Despite the quality of a lead that any marketing company can provide, eventually “somebody has to sell something to someone”. A SAAS revenue model charging per user per month, this platform integrates with web content management systems as well as with prospecting tools like Salesforce. The name of the mobile platform is imSMART, which is an acronym for interactive mobile sales and marketing tool. We are already working here with many of the largest brands in our markets.


CEOCFO: What is special about CompareNetworks and how is business now?

Mr. Cowley: What I love about this company is that we provide meaningful marketing and sales capabilities that help bring buyers and sellers together. We help our manufacturing clients to market more effectively. Everything we do is based on two things—providing a great user experience for end users (to engage with our manufacturers) and providing solid ROI for our manufacturing clients. Every time we dig in to the ROI piece, where we derive insight in to the conversions to sale for our clients, the numbers are typically better than we or the clients expected and in most cases outperform our competitors and even sites like Google. I believe this gets down to the fact that we are connecting focused B2B end users in our vertical markets to high quality content and information that serves a meaningful purpose.


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