Articles, Dentistry

Pitching practice

I know I’ve been a little doom and gloom lately, questioning why I’m doing my MBA, moaning about the workload and being worried about the exams. But last week my enthusiasm was reignited as we got to do something really innovative and refreshing. We had to pitch a marketing plan for a product of our choice.

My group debated choosing between two products. One was a painless injection system I have been testing called Dijijet and the other was a new Instagram based geo-tagging app called Loci. Both of these products actually exist and were not a figment of our overworked imagination.

Selling the app

In the end, we decided that the app may be easier to sell and promote to the crowd. By ‘sell’, I mean we, as a collective group, had to conduct a presentation to the rest of the cohort and our tutor, essentially selling our app using marketing lingo (look up SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis and you will get the gist). So in true MBA style, we hashed out the presentation, almost the day before the presentation date.

Now, when you get a group of hyper-ambitious individuals together, put them into designated groups, and suggest that this task is in a sense a competition – people start to pull out all the stops. Things start to get serious… Queue the hype-machine. My group made a little teaser video for our presentation, which we sent out to all group members via Whatsapp. We sent subtle messages to spark the interest of the tutors and other groups in the run-up to the scheduled presentation. We wanted our audience to be intrigued from the get-go.

When we presented our marketing pitch, we had ‘bribes’ of food, chocolates (naughty dentist) and actually did some guerrilla marketing. As our chosen product was a live app we had everyone in the audience actually downloading as the presentation took place, and gave everyone who downloaded the app some chocolate as a reward. Pretty cool stuff.

Think outside the box

Concluding the Dragon’s Den styled project, we were defeated by another group that were marketing a beverage. Their pitch contrasted ours as they perched the drink on a stool in the middle of the room and covered it in a shroud. We all spent the entire presentation looking at the stool, wondering what was underneath. At the end of the presentation we all got a drink. It was a good one.

So why am I telling you this? Well, it’s the process. It’s making us all think outside the box. If I’d have been given this task as a dental student, I am certain it wouldn’t have been as dynamic and as diverse as what I’ve experienced during my MBA.

Thinking outside the box is not something that you can just wake up one day and start doing, and it’s definitely not something you can be taught, but rather something you develop over time. Your mental state has to be different and this is something I think the MBA is doing to me.

Dr Nilesh R Parmar BDS (Lond) MSc (ProsthDent) MSc (ImpDent) Cert Ortho was voted Best Young Dentist in the East of England in 2009 at the Dentistry Awards and Young Dentist of the Year at the Dental Awards 2014. He has also been voted 18 in 2014’s Dentistry Top 50. Nilesh has a masters degree in prosthetic dentistry from the Eastman Dental Institute and a masters degree in clinical implantology from King’s College London. He is one of the few dentists in the UK to have a degree from all three London Dental Schools and has recently obtained his certificate in orthodontics from Warwick University. His main area of interest is in dental implants and Cerec CAD/CAM technology.

Currently studying for his MBA at Imperial College, London, Nilesh runs a successful seven-surgery practice close to London and is a visiting implant dentist to two central London practices. More information can be found on his website: www.drnileshparmar.com. Twitter: @NileshRParmar. Facebook: DR NILESH R. PARMAR.

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