Why Corporate Marketing is Bad for Independent Dentistry

There is a general feeling that corporate dentistry is bad for independent dentistry.

But what about corporate marketing? 

Let’s start with the negative impacts of corporate dentistry.

First, there are financial implications. The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that an independent dentist will make $193,640 on average versus $146,040 as an associate in a corporate practice. (Source: http://bit.ly/1sGR2ci)

Second, there is a sense that corporate dentistry is infiltrating the industry. The ADA goes on to say, “Of the approximate 190,000 practicing dentists in the United States, 92 percent are in private practice; more than 80 percent of active private practitioner dentists in the United States are practice owners. In the coming years, the solo practice will become less dominant as more cost-efficient, larger practices predominate.” (Source: http://bit.ly/1IQS8EB)

Third, there is a general feeling of malaise about corporate dentistry among many independent practitioners. The blogosphere is lit up with strong opinions about corporate dentistry. Here are just three recent posts from an online forum of independent dentists

“Corporate dentistry does nothing for the future of the profession. Corporate dentistry offering mentoring? I don’t think so, unless you mean they’ll have the money to pay for your CE courses.”

“Don’t follow the money — provide the same quality of care for your patients that you would put in your own familys’ [sic] mouths and the money will come.”

“screw corporate dentistry. lets make it our explicit goal to bring em down!!!” [sic]

(Source: http://bit.ly/1CwE2WW)

Corporate versus independent dentistry is a true story of the survival of the fittest. As corporate dentistry grows, only the best of the best independent dentists will survive.

As Marc B. Cooper, DDS, MSD put it in a recent blog post, “Twenty percent of solo private practices will survive and even succeed in this new future. But these practices have very special practice owners. Dentist-owners in this 20% are obsessive in their commitment to practice success. They are continually engaged in advanced training, usually teaching and/or speaking at national and regional conferences. They are always marketing—and I mean always.” (Source: http://bit.ly/1AYYSi3)

And they are not just marketing – they are marketing like no other practice does.

The independent dentistry practice that will survive and thrive will have a very specific message for potential patients. It will be sure of its mission, vision and values. It will have a staff and patient base that believe in what it stands for, and that regularly sings its praises. It will stand out in a sea of sameness with true originality. It will market only a specific set of services that it delivers best. It will deploy only the marketing tactics that matter most to its target audience. It will be good as gold to current patients, which will regularly attract referrals. It will follow through with new patients in an unprecedented way, delivering on its marketing promise over and over again to create lifetime patients.

Corporate marketing can’t do those things. Any company that commoditizes marketing is a corporate marketing company.

Here are just a few examples of corporate marketing companies:

Yodle: All-in-One Local Internet Marketing & Advertising. Get a Free Quote!

Dentist Marketing 360®: Tour the #1 Dental website designs for generating more Patients!

ProSites: Free, no-obligation trial. Innovative web design, mobile sites, SEO, and social media services for dentists.

They offer cookie-cutter solutions that the average dentist figures are good enough.

But you are not average, and good enough is not good enough for you and your practice!

An independent marketing agency is much better able to offer the customized art and science of marketing that independent dentistry needs now.

Besides Big Buzz, here are just a few examples of independent marketing agencies that specialize in dentistry:

Gilleard Dental Marketing


Practice Cafe

You know it’s an independent marketing agency when you can see who works there and the specific custom solutions they offer. If you can’t see those two things, steer clear for fear of ending up with the same old marketing solution as the practice down the street.

You’re simply better than that!