Strategic priorities for growth
In recent years, Align Technology (ALGN) has been growing at a fast pace while it executes its strategic priorities around the world. It has laid out these four strategies: international expansion, orthodontist utilization expansion, GP (general practitioner) dentist treat and refer, and patient demand and conversion. It reported strong financial results for fiscal 4Q17 and fiscal 2017 after successfully executing on these strategies.
How Align plans to execute strategic priorities in 2018
In 2018, Align Technology plans to continue to focus on these four growth strategies. On the international expansion front, the company plans to expand its business in APAC (Asia-Pacific) and the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa). It plans to accelerate its investments in Latin America and Canada. It will launch direct-to-consumer advertising for the first time in some markets, including Canada.
For the company’s orthodontic channel, the teenage market remains its priority. The company plans to advance its consumer marketing programs with a focus on teenagers and their moms in the EMEA market. That will enable utilization expansion across the company’s orthodontic channel.
For GP dentists, Align Technology plans to gather more insight into the major drivers of Invisalign adoption among GP dentists by creating dedicated GP resources across its sales and marketing organizations. The initiative will help support the unique needs of GP dentists, enabling them to treat more patients and refer the complex cases to specialists.
For a growth in patient demand and conversion, Align Technology plans to continue to invest in its brand and consumer marketing programs going forward. Its peers Zimmer Biomet Holdings (ZBH), 3M (MMM), and Henry Schein (HSIC) have also made significant investments in their marketing initiatives. They have invested 37.2%, 21.8%, and 19.9%, respectively, in their SG&A (selling, general, and administrative) expenses in their recently reported quarters.