Oral Health Group

Editorial: To Market, To Market to Buy That Next Thing….

March 18, 2017
by Catherine Wilson

“Old school mentalities – like dentistry is a profession, not a business OR doing good dentistry is your best marketing – still permeate. There hasn’t been much in terms of teaching proper marketing for the new millennium.” Michael Carabash, managing partner of DMC LLP.

Why in the world do you, Dr. Dentist, have to know anything about, let alone participate in marketing in the new millennium? See paragraph above.


As touched on in this issue by dental profession experts in their fields, Dr. Wilson Chen, Michael Carabash and Timothy Brown, landmines, er, opportunities abound. When you were in dental school, did you discuss social media, building your brand, investor dentists, the corporate dentistry phenomenon or how about the power of charity, the danger of resting on your laurels (often known as your degrees), being comfortable with the status quo, the perils of being an absentee owner or could you take direction from a non-dentist owner? Again, see paragraph one!
Marketing, in all its permeations, is a fascinating and dangerous undertaking. Let’s focus on the fascinating.

Oral care recorded current value growth of two percent in Canada in 2015, to reach CD$1.1 billion., according to Euromonitor International. Over the review period, consumers took greater interest in their oral health, which saw them supplement their oral hygiene routine of toothbrushes and toothpaste with dental floss and mouthwashes/dental rinses. However, the unemployment rate in Canada remains moderately high so in order to avoid visits to the dentist, consumers also became more careful about their oral care, considering the high cost of such visits. Most oral care manufacturers managed to maintain their value shares in a highly competitive environment.

As Euromonitor reports, “oral care is set to reach CD$1.1 billion by 2020. The relatively high penetration of staple oral care products in Canada means that substantial retail volume growth is unlikely over the forecast period. Increased diversification and wider product portfolios will be key to the continued growth of oral care over the forecast period. As a result, manufacturers are expected to focus on providing targeted care to address specific needs.”

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” – David Ogilvy

While dental professionals sometimes bristle at the thought of being business owners rather than healthcare providers, dental professionals must still ask themselves simple questions concerning marketing:

Compared to my competitors, and yes, Dr. Dentist, the next shingle down is your competitor, is your strategy dull or fresh; conventional or unique; usual or novel; commonplace or innovative?

Home again, home again, jiggity jig…