Market Segmentation in the Medical Aesthetic Devices industry
The modernization drive triggered by ongoing discoveries and inventions, progress and technological up gradation, all have added a new dimension to the life of an individual and to the entire human fraternity, when viewed from a larger perspective (Bix and Fuente, 2009). There has been an upsurge in the ambitions of people and most importantly the importance of perfection has been underlined again and again to gain the maximum possible attention. The bar has been raised (Zuckerman, 2011). The basic necessities have been reformed to make room for more such necessities that are perceived to be the basic requirements for leading a normal and decent life. Their consciousness about their body and appearance has paved way for more perfection and this is where the medical aesthetic came into play (Bayat, et al, 2010).
According to Tan (2007), the function of medicine expanded from just treating the illness to performing more sophisticated functions like reforming the present form of the human body, correcting the deformalities, and adding to the present condition for enhancing the appearance of the concerned person. In order to cause such changes in the present form of the appearance, it would be meddling with the laws of birth, maturity and decay. It needs a lot stronger force and powerful methods to do so. Shiffman and Prendergast (2011) stated that medical aesthetic is one of the branches of medicine which deals with beautification of the body with the aid of experts with medical knowledge and surgical expertise. The concerned individuals are resorting to safer and tested methods of such artificial modification of the human body or body features. This takes them to the application of medical devices which are tested safe, approved and applied by the doctors. Medical aesthetics is an applied medical procedure where the entire human body is studied in order to examine the abnormalities and find a cure to it (Dacy, 2010).
Of late aesthetic medical devices have become immensely popular. Besides using it for cosmetic cures, it is popularly used to treat cases like treatment of cancer patients, burn recovery, cases in need of plastic surgery and others. According to the observations of McQuillan (2008) the growing popularity of medical aesthetics devices has taken the shape of a huge industry which has been successfully operating for the last 35 years. As the demand grew with time new manufacturers joined the market and began manufacturing newer devices that responded to the diversified needs of the conscious human race. The other types of medical aesthetic devices that are in popular use and are widely manufactured by this industry are the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), Bipolar Radio Frequency Devices, Microdermabrasion and Electroporation. The medical aesthetics devices market previously supplied devices for medical purpose only but due to the addition of the new devices, the market grew enormously and became complex.
The homogeneity of the supplied devices was disturbed so were the homogeneity of the customers, or it could be said that the homogeneity of the entire market was destroyed and heterogeneity was introduced. Such a scenario led to confusion and chaos in the functioning of the medical aesthetic devices market. So, in order to solve the confusion the priority is to segregate the market for the different types of aesthetic devices based on the purpose of its use. The market needs to be segmented into niche markets for the convenience of operation. Tan, (2007) says by doing so the market operators would find it easier and more convenient to decide the price for each device, identify their target customers and plan for a better marketing strategy especially for the niche market. This paper provides a detailed study on the various aspects of the medical aesthetic devices market; the problems attached to it and also make an attempt to find a solution to the problems in the form of strategic choice of market segmentation in the aesthetic devices industry.
1.2: Research Aim
In order to make the research more compact and efficient a well thought-out research aim is needed. This research paper is aimed at studying the present complications of the medical aesthetic devices market due to the addition of new medical aesthetic devices, find out whether there is a need for strategic change of market segmentation for an efficient functioning of the market and how the market could be segregated and how this will affect the market.
1.3: Research Objectives
Research objectives of a paper are formulated in order to support the aims of the concerned research paper. The research objectives of this paper are:
1.4: Research Questions
The research questions serve as a guideline for completing the paper. They are:
1.5: Background of the Research
When the medical aesthetic devices industry took its shape in near about 35 years ago, it purely responded to the medical needs of the patients like providing treatments patients who are surviving after being treated out of cancer, patients who are recovering from their burns and other patients who are in need of plastic surgery for various reasons. With the developing technologies and inventions in the field of medicines and medical equipments, various new medical aesthetic devices were invented that responded to medical needs and even to other needs such as beauty care and for home use. The market grew with increasing demand for such devices. The popularity of such devices increased phenomenonally. It is so because the devices were able to provide the required perfection in the lives of the people (Fotis and Bix, 2006).
The minimal or major changes that were brought in caused great difference in the lives of the individuals and one success case brought out the other and such a chain contributed to the widespread growth of the medical aesthetic devices and its industry and inspired for the discovery of more devices for advanced use. According to Tan (2007), the latest aesthetic devices were frequently used for the beauty purpose, for using in the home and others. Such devices gained huge popularity and were in great demand. The varied types of devices destroyed the homogeneity of the market and made the market complicated. Such complications made it difficult for the market operators to decide a particular marketing strategy, fix the price, and manufacture them and in creating a niche market for the specific devices. It is very important to create a niche market to ensure proper functioning of the market and thus it needs market segregation. This research paper stems out from the very need of a detailed study into the current medical aesthetic devices market scenario and the need of market segregation. The above mentioned reasons form the background of this research paper.
1.6: Rationale for the Research Topic
One of the greatest contributions of the modern times is the massive development in medicines and health care system. A development in the infrastructure for health care in terms of better equipped hospitals, better medical equipments for treating complicated and others abnormalities that were impossible to be treated in the recent past (Martinez Sanchez, et al, 2005). The success of such equipments, known as medical aesthetic devices, has inspired for the inventions of other such devices and even devices better than that. Previously, it was only the aesthetic devices used for medical purposes but later the emergence of other aesthetic devices for beauty care and home use have destroyed the homogeneity of the market and gave rise to various complicacies in the functioning of the market (Jones, 2010).
According to the observations made by Prendergast and Shiffman, (2011) the medical aesthetic market has been a vibrant one with great response from the customers but various functional problems are arising due to the destruction of the homogeneity. If this destruction of the homogeneity of the market continues then it will adversely affect the market and might ultimately result in the crash of the market. So, it becomes immensely important to check the possibility of preventing such a crash of an efficiently successful and promising industry. This forms the base for the rationale of this research paper (Sadick, 2005). There is a need for a study about the medical aesthetics devices market in order to find out a way to avoid the confusion and prevent the disturbance from affecting the market. The rationale for this research paper is based on the need to adopt strategic choices of market segmentation for the medical aesthetic devices industry in such a way that it does not hamper the already existing market. The rationale also lies in assessing the impact of strategies that will help in enhancing the market for medical aesthetic devices industry in a systematic way (Keng Boon Harold Tan, 2007)
1.7: Scope of the Research
The scope of a research paper is a final call to the existence of a research. If a particular research has a very narrow or no scope at all then that subject of research or that research paper should not be made at all. Before beginning a research paper or carrying a particular research the researcher should clearly know and analyse the scope of the research paper. The procedure of research involves a huge amount of time, hard work and huge financial expenditure so a research that has negligible or no scope at all would be a complete wastage of time, effort and money resulting is nothing. Such research should be abandoned during the very initial stages. Research papers that have a good scope of application in practical life, which can be utilized and which can make a difference, are the ones that should be carried on. This research paper has a great scope considering its importance in asserting the future of the medical aesthetic devices industry. Primary and secondary data, inputs from market experts and a survey will be used to find out the possible ground realities and cross check with each other to ascertain the found facts.
From the findings of this research paper, it would be decided whether or not to implement the strategic segmentation of the market. The current scenario of the medical aesthetic industry is such that too many types of devices have clogged the smooth functioning of the market (Sousa, et al, 2010). Since research is the key to opening of new avenue and thus development, so a research based study is very much essential for finding an alternative to save the aesthetic devices industry from collapsing due to malfunctioning (Khalil and Merhi, 2000). The findings of this research would help the industry to find ways by which the market could be strategically segregated and better marketing techniques could be deployed for utilizing the high demand of medical aesthetic devices and make the most out of the vibrant and popular market of medical aesthetic devices industry (Medrado, et al, 2010). Overall, it can be believed that the present research has a moderate scope that will help in highlighting key and relevant findings.
1.8: Outline of the Dissertation
For the purpose of a systematic study the entire research paper has been divided into five different chapters and sub-chapters that deal with separate topics explaining the complete concept of the respective chapters. A brief of the chapters are:
The “introduction” chapter being the first chapter of this entire dissertation holds great importance in providing a meaningful beginning of the paper. It provides an introduction about the concept of “medical aesthetic device” clearly explains the aims, objectives and briefly tells about the questions that this paper is trying to address. It also provides the background for the research paper, the reasons that culminated to the research paper, explains the rationale of this paper and state the scope of this research.
Chapter-2: Literature Review
The second chapter of this research paper is the literature review which deals with the different research and academic materials that has been referred to for making a detailed study for this paper. A critical analysis of the studied literature has been represented in this chapter.
Chapter-3: Research Methodology
This chapter presents an overview of the key methodologies used for overall selection in terms of achieving the proposed aim and objectives of the research.
Chapter-4: Findings and Analysis
The chapter offers findings and analysis of the research based on the critical analysis of the primary and secondary data.
Chapter-5: Conclusion and Recommendations
The chapter offers key conclusions and recommendations based on the outcomes derived from the analysis of the primary and secondary research.
The first chapter of this research paper being the introductory chapter provides a complete introduction of the research paper. This chapter is sub-divided under different sub-headings in order to focus more on the details and be more specific. The concept of medical aesthetic devices is explained under one such sub-heading. The aims, objectives, rationale and scope of this research paper is discussed in a detailed manner in this very chapter. In order to have a successful completion of a research paper it is needed to follow a specific methodology. The methodology followed for reaching to the prescribed aims and objectives are also discussed in this chapter. This chapter provides a complete overview of the research paper and is supported by proper reasoning for carrying on this research work. The next chapter presents an analysis of the relevant literature in a critical manner that will further help in assessing the research questions in order to accomplish the research objectives.
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