Dentsply Sirona is an international company that provides dental products and technologies for private dental practice. The purpose of this paper is to conduct an analysis of the Dentsply Sirona marketing strategy. Thereby, three directions of the company’s marketing strategy are described using special marketing techniques. Application of these techniques and models allowed to assess the effectiveness of the Dentsply Sirona marketing strategy and formulate recommendations for potential improvements in the company’s marketing efforts.
Thereby, the paper consists of three parts. The first part describes SAVE techniques, which provide a modern view on the marketing mix. The second part of the paper includes the description and an analysis of the Dentsply Sirona marketing strategy in terms of Porter’s Generic strategies and Ansoff’s approach. Finally, the SERVQUAL model was used in order to evaluate the efficiency of the company’s services.
SAVE framework was developed by Ettenson et al. (2013) as an improved marketing strategy for B2B marketers. SAVE framework is based on four elements: solution, access, value and education, instead of product, price, promotion and place, as the traditional 4Ps marketing approach did. Each element of SAVE model can be shifted to the appropriate element of the 4Ps model. Thus, new model focuses on solutions instead of products, on access instead of place, on value instead of price, and on education instead of promotion (Ettenson et al. 2013).
The following paragraph provides a closer examination of SAVE elements:
- The first SAVE element is a focus on solution instead of product. Nowadays organizations are moving from product-oriented to service-oriented and solution-oriented business models. In their model Ettenson et al. (2013) prove that customers do not pay much attention to product, but desire to solve their problems with the help of company’s products or services.
- The second element of SAVE is a focus on access instead of place. According to Ettenson et al. (2013) research organizations started to shift their business model from ownership to those, which provide access to solutions. For instance, many companies now have started providing their services and products via the Internet. Thus, the place for purchasing product or service has become irrelevant.
- The third element of the SAVE model is a focus on value instead of price. As Ettenson et al. (2013) prove nowadays customers may have concerns about the price of products or services. However, these concerns usually appear only after the customers concerns about value. Thereby, Ettenson et al. (2013) recommend marketing managers to think about the value that the company creates to its customer, since when designing new business models your value proposition is a key element.
- Finally, the fourth SAVE element is a focus on education instead of promotion. Ettenson et al. (2013) prove that in order to create a sense of familiarity and trust long before a purchase companies should shift from just promoting their products and services to educating them and providing relevant information regarding the interests of potential customers.
SAVE Elements in the Dentsply Sirona Marketing Strategy
Since Dentsply Sirona operates on the B2B market the SAVE model can be perfectly implemented as company’s marketing strategy. The following paragraph describes the key elements of the SAVE model in terms of the Dentsply Sirona marketing vision. The analysis was provided on the base of the company’s Web site and other open-sources.
Solution. The analysis of the Dentsply Sirona services and products proves that the company has clearly implemented the first SAVE element in its marketing strategy. As it can be seen from the company’s mission, the core focus of the Dentsply Sirona is to provide dental solutions for private dental practice (Sirona 2013). Moreover, according to company’s press-releases it consistently invests in research and development in order to deliver clinical efficacy and efficiency and support patient preferences (Sirona 2013).
Dentsply Sirona ensures its research and development practices by engaging research clinical collaborators, scientists, and engineers from all over the world. It allows the company to combine these specialists into global cross-functional project teams that provide solutions for customer’s unmet needs. For instance, Dentsply Sirona has developed Innovation Centres across the globe (Sirona 2013). These Centres address the customers’ needs by providing innovative clinically relevant product solutions. At a result, the company became able to deliver extensive patent portfolio that is unparalleled in the global professional dental marketplace (Sirona 2013). Thereby, the focus on solution instead of product allowed the Dentsply Sirona to increase its customers’ satisfaction and solve their problems related to providing dental products.
In order to provide an appropriate access to its products and services Dentsply Sirona is focused on building its powerful online presence (Sirona 2013). Thus, during the last years the company has significantly expanded its online presence via the corporate Web site and various social media tools. For instance, Dentsply Sirona has developed several digital online tools that allow it to offer its solutions to customers. The first tool is a Sirona blog. Starting from March 2013 this blog provides different reports regarding company’s activity in developing dental innovations and technologies. These reports are produced not only for the company’s customers, but also for its business partners and employees. These reports highlight the most valuable experiences and knowledge of the Dentsply Sirona employees, sector experts, users and scientists (Sirona 2013). Finally, in order to ensure the highest level of access to its blog Dentsply Sirona has integrated it into its corporate website and the Facebook page. The second tool is the Dentsply Sirona Social media newsroom. It was designed for the company’s customers and provides bundles material regarding the its services and products (Sirona 2013). The next tool is the Media and App centre, which provides various photos, video tutorials, iPad apps, product applications and software plugins, e-papers, and iBooks, focused on the company’s dental solutions. Thereby, Dentsply Sirona has expanded online and developed various communication channels, which allows the company to provide comfortable access to its products and services.
The analysis of the Dentsply Sirona marketing strategy allowed discovering the following features regarding the value distribution. According to the current marketing vision, the company has provided various solutions, focused on enhancing dentists’ and patients’ comfort and satisfaction. For instance, the company has developed special ORTHOPHOS SL X-ray gadget, which provides innovative imaging technology for the greatest possible contrast with the lowest possible dose (Sirona 2013). Further, in order to provide more flexibility to dental professionals the company has developed CEREC system (Sirona 2013). It has also provided a useful solution for the dental treatment of team members that will increase their confidence and satisfaction, which is based on using AstraTech EV surgical implants with unique macro structure and surface properties (Sirona 2013). Additionally, the company realises the need to improve patients’ comfort. Thereby, it has produced SIROLaser Blue, which allows bloodless surgery (Sirona 2013). Thereby, the Dentsply Sirona pays significant attention to delivering innovations. Such strategy allows the company to both enhance dental transformative products and solutions, and also set new standards in dental treatment by driving better, safer and faster dentistry.
In the case of the Dentsply Sirona the education SAVE element is closely related to the access element. Additionally to the traditional and virtual communication platforms used by the company to deliver its product and services, a few years ago it has developed a special platform under the slogan “The Power of Innovation” (Sirona 2013). On the base of this platform the company delivers an innovation magazine “SironaVision”, which is available both as an enhanced print version and as an e-paper (Sirona 2013). With the help of “SironaVision” the company enhances the education of its current and potential customers not only about the Sirona products, but also about various innovative solutions in the dental industry (Sirona 2013). Thereby, instead of directly promoting its products and services, the Dentsply Sirona focuses on the education of its customers, which will allow to increase the level of familiarity and loyalty among them regarding the company’s solutions.
Porter’s Generic Strategies
Porter’s generic strategies description. Porter (1985) has developed four generic strategies usually used by the companies while developing their marketing campaigns. The generic strategies are based on the following types of competitive advantage a company can have: differentiation or low cost (fig. 1). Porter (1985) combined these competitive advantages with the competitive activities scope. This scope can be divided by two target types: broad target and narrow target (fig. 1). At the result of their combination the following generic strategies are created to achieve appropriate business performance: cost leadership, focus, and differentiation (fig. 1). In addition, the focus strategy can be divided by the following variants: differentiation and cost focuses (fig. 1). The following paragraph discusses the features of each generic strategy.
Figure 1.Porter’s generic strategies (Porter 1985).
Cost Leadership Strategy
Cost leadership strategy is based on focusing at providing the product to a broad segment of customers at the lowest price (fig. 1). An objective of a firm that has chosen this strategy is to become a low cost producer in the industry (Porter 1985). This objective can be set if the firm has one or several sources of cost advantage. For instance, the company may use the economies of scale, preferential access to raw materials, proprietary technology, or other factors that allows minimising costs. In this case the cost leadership strategy will allow the company to reach an above average result in the industry by providing the average prices in the industry (Porter 1985).
When choosing the differentiation strategy a company aims at becoming a unique provider on the market along some dimensions (Porter 1985). For instance, the company may choose one or more unique attributes, which differentiate it from other companies on the market. These attributes should be highly evaluated by the customers and perceived as important. Thus, the differentiation strategy allows the company to get additional financial rewards for its uniqueness.
The Porter’s generic strategy of focus is based on a competitive scope within an industry. As the fig. 1 illustrates, the focus strategy relies on a narrow market segment. This target segment must either have buyers with unusual needs, or the delivery system of the segment should differ from that of other industry segments (Porter 1985). Thereby, the company has two variants of providing exclusive products and services to customers. The first variant is cost focused. In this case a company seeks a cost advantage in the target segment. The second variant is the differentiation focus. In this case a company seeks differentiation in its target segment.
Porter’s generic strategies implementation. The analysis of the Porter’s generic strategies in terms of the Dentsply Sirona marketing strategy proves that the company has successfully implemented differentiation strategy described by Porter. It can be explained by the fact that the company differentiates from other similar companies on the market by providing an innovative approach to the product development and service delivering (Sirona 2013). Moreover, the company states that it also focuses on quality and constant service improvement in order to provide better, safer and faster dentistry around the world (Sirona 2013). For instance, according to the Dentsply Sirona press-releases the company puts emphasis on new technologies while developing its dental products for dental clinics (Sirona 2013). Thereby, it could be recommended to extend company’s generic strategy from differentiation to the differentiation focus. For instance, the company may focus on providing special services to the dental market. It will allow the company to gain more benefits on its research and development practices and win additional financial bonuses from delivering unique products on the market to those customers, who highly require them.
Ansoff’s Growth Matrix
Ansoff’s Growth Matrix description. Ansoff’s matrix is based on four alternative marketing strategies (fig. 2). These strategies differ depending on whether products/markets are new or existing (fig. 2). The following paragraph describes the features of each strategy.
Figure 2.Ansoff’s growth matrix (Ansoff 1957).
Market Penetration Strategy
Market penetration strategy is based on producing the existing products/services in the existing market segment (fig. 2). Thereby, the company uses market penetration strategy in order to increase market share within existing market segments. For instance, the company can achieve this goal by selling more products/services to established customers or by finding new customers within existing markets (Ansoff 1957).
Product Development Strategy
Product development strategy is based on developing new products and selling them in existing market (fig. 2). Companies, which are going to choose the product development strategy, should think how new products can meet customers’ needs more closely and outperform them of competitors (Ansoff 1957).
Market Development Strategy
Market development strategy involves finding new markets for existing products (fig. 2). For instance, the company should use market research tools and find new market segments, while identifying new groups of customers.
Diversification strategy entails producing new products and selling them into new markets. Comparing with other strategies this one has the highest level of risk, since the more an organisation moves away from what it has done in the past the more uncertainties are created (Ansoff 1957). On the other hand, in the case of existing any threat to current activities diversification may help to spread risk.
Ansoff’s Growth Matrix Implementation
Among four marketing strategies described by Ansoff the product development marketing strategy seems as the most appropriate to the Dentsply Sirona. As it can be seen from the company’s online presence (i.e. Web site, social networking platforms, etc.), its reports and press-releases, the company has focused on developing innovative products for the B2B market of private dental services. For example, the company provides various professional dental products and technologies, which include dental care equipment (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing), restoratives, implants, endodontic, instruments and hygiene systems, prosthetics, image systems, preventive dental care, orthodontics, and treatment centres (Sirona 2016). It is recommended for the company to continue implementing the product development marketing strategy, since the analysis proves that this strategy has shown its efficiency on the company’s market.
SERVQUAL model description
SERVQUAL model was developed by Parasuraman et al. (1988) and supplemented later by other researches. This model describes seven major gaps in the service quality concept: gap1 – expectations of customers vs perceptions of management; gap2 – service specifications vs management perceptions ; gap3 – specifications of service vs delivery of service; gap 4 – delivery of service vs external communication; gap5 – the discrepancy between expectations of customers and their perceptions of the service delivered and their ; gap 6 – the discrepancy between perceptions of employees and expectations of customers; and gap 7 – the discrepancy between perceptions of management and employees. The relationships between the gaps are shown on figure 3.
Figure 3. SERVQUAL model (Parasuraman et al. 1988; Shahin 2006).
Besides that the SERQUAL Model consists of five generic dimensions. The first generic dimension (or factor) is tangibles. It can be defined as company’s physical facilities and employees engaged in the process of service providing (Shahin 2006). The second factor is reliability. Reliability can be defined as company’s ability to perform service dependably and accurately with its promises (Shahin 2006). The third generic dimension is responsiveness, which can be defined as company’s willingness to provide prompt services and to satisfy customer’s needs (Shahin 2006). Further, assurance is the next factor, which includes company’s security, competence, credibility, and courtesy. These elements are based on the employees’ knowledge and their ability to inspire confidence and trust. Finally, empathy is the fifth dimension, which includes access, communication, and understanding customers’ needs (Shahin 2006).
SERVQUAL Model Implementation
The analysis of SERVQUAL model in terms of the Dentsply Sirona marketing strategy allows discovering the following results. Firstly, the company has established huge facilities all over the world. It allows providing efficient research and development practice by engaging various clinics, research centres, engineers and dental specialists from other countries (Sirona 2013). Further, the reviews prove that most of the customers recommend the company to their friends (GlassDoor 2016). Moreover, they state that they have got services as promised by the company (GlassDoor 2016). The company is also highly dedicated to provide prompt services and solutions that will satisfy customers’ needs and requirements (Sirona 2013). Additionally, the Dentsply Sirona pays significant attention to the development of its employees (Sirona 2013). Thereby, their staffs are able to provide high quality services and develop products that help customers find appropriate solutions. Finally, as it was mentioned before, the company provides various online tools in order to ensure appropriate communication with its customers and clearly discover their needs.
Consequently, the analysis of the SAVE model in term of the Dentsply Sirona marketing strategy proves that the company has successfully implemented all four elements of this model. It is especially important, since the company provides dental products and technologies for the private dental practice, and SAVE model was first developed for the B2B marketers. The solution element was clearly performed via company’s strategy, since the Dentsply Sirona focuses on providing excellent solutions to dental-care providers, such as private dental clinics. Further, the access element was provided via various online communication tools, developed by the company. Additionally, the company ensures a high value provided to its customers by implementing innovating technologies and providing constant research and development.
Further, the company is recommended to apply the differentiation strategy, as was described by Porter. This strategy would help Dentsply Sirona to provide differentiated and innovative products to a narrow segment of customers, thereby increasing its overall sales. Additionally, the product development marketing strategy described by Ansoff can should be applied. The analysis proves that the company has successfully enforced innovative technologies in its product development process, thus further product development will definitely ensure company’s growth. Finally, the analysis of SERVQUAL model in terms of the company’s marketing strategy allows concluding that the company has developed a successful services delivery system, based on excellent knowledge and constant development.