Speed and Agility: It's Not Just for Pilots
…a conversation with Keenan Taylor, Practice Marketing Manager with dentalcorp
In this month's Support Centre Team Member Spotlight, Keenan talks to us about how his role satisfies the thrill-seeker in him, even though he became a Marketing Manager instead of a Pilot.
Tell me about your background – how long have you been with dentalcorp and what were you doing before you joined?
In January it will be 1 year that I’ve been with the company. Prior to coming here, I was a Marketing Manager with a Canadian owned construction equipment company with 40 locations. The only reason I didn’t mind driving to the burbs was my electric car! Now I hop on a train which took some getting used to, but it’s actually much more convenient.
Can you tell us a bit about your role on the Practice Marketing team? What does a typical day look like?
All of us on the team spend the majority of our time working with Partners, Practice Managers, Regional Directors of Operations to understand the uniqueness of the practices, develop a marketing strategy and execute initiatives. Not sure there IS a typical day – every day is different. The role evolves based on time of year, network initiatives, and where each individual practice is in terms of their development. The conversation is very different with a practice that is starting from scratch versus one that we’ve been working with for a while.
Tell me a bit about the needs of the Practices you look after?
Right now I look after a number of Practices in BC and the Midwest. Some require a lot of my time and attention, while others are more self-sufficient. Basically, they are each unique and have their own specific requirements. I’m responsible for making sure their needs are met, regardless of what stage they’re at.
How has your role evolved/grown/changed in the time you’ve been here?
Even though it’s only been a year, the Practice Marketing Team has changed a lot in the time I’ve been here. Earlier on we were still evolving, which led us to be more reactive. Now we’re able to move to a more proactive approach based on network insights and metric based decisions. We’re better able to forecast and plan, and with our successes, we’re able to offer tried and true best practices as opposed to theoretical strategies.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A pilot! Mostly because it meant going fast. As I moved into high school I thought I would go into business or become a teacher. I did end up pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. I knew pretty early on that I wanted to be in marketing. What really interests me is consumer behavior – understanding the human side of buying and selling. During my academic career I also fulfilled the criteria to earn my Professional Sales Certificate from the CPSA (Canadian Professional Sales Association).
What is something about yourself that your teammates would have trouble believing?
They probably wouldn’t believe that I didn’t have a beard until just a few years ago. Funny story - before I had a beard, I used to carpool to work with my brother. Well one day, we got into a car accident. Thankfully we walked away untouched. But while we were on the scene, a concerned motorist stopped and asked, “Are you guys on your way to the prom?” When we stopped and took stock of our white shirts, ties, and really clean-shaven faces, we realized why she might think that. I was 24. He was 28! My brother and I both grew beards shortly after that.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I’ve always worked, right from having a paper route as a kid. I like to be busy, and I like to be able to apply a lot of different skills. In the role I’m in, I get the chance to be both creative and analytical which makes me happy.
If you could be granted just one wish, what would it be?
Probably that we solve climate change. But even without being granted that wish, I’m glad I’m in the service industry, where at least we’re solving problems rather than creating new ones. Marketing to healthcare feels like a better occupation, given the earth’s current state, than trying to sell goods that end up in landfills.
Tell me about an experience you’ve had, either personally or professionally, that’s really left an impact.
In my teens I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. It’s not a stretch to say I had a near-death experience, and that sort of thing is life-changing. It really taught me to keep things in perspective, and to not take things for granted. Health is our greatest asset, and everyone needs self-care. Being chronically ill makes you realize how lucky you are to have great healthcare and benefits, so that you can keep living a full life.
What are your aspirations for personal and professional growth? Do you have a 5-year plan?
My 50-year plan is to become a Professor. But in the shorter term, I’ve always had a passion for people management – helping them grow and develop. I’ve held leadership roles in the past, and as dentalcorp continues to grow, I’m looking forward to leveraging that leadership experience and growing my career to support that success.
What advice do you have for new team members joining dentalcorp’s Support Centre?
Keep an open mind and be flexible. The needs of the business, and of your team, might change in the next 6 or 12 months. Also, don’t be afraid of interacting with other groups in the company. Say hi! There’s so much we can learn from each other.