Use of market segmentation to identify untapped consumer needs in vision correction surgery for future growth

J Refract Surg. 2003 Sep-Oct;19(5):566-76. doi: 10.3928/1081-597X-20030901-12.


Purpose: Market segmentation analysis identifies discrete segments of the population whose beliefs are consistent with exhibited behaviors such as purchase choice. This study applies market segmentation analysis to low myopes (-1 to -3 D with less than 1 D cylinder) in their consideration and choice of a refractive surgery procedure to discover opportunities within the market.

Method: A quantitative survey based on focus group research was sent to a demographically balanced sample of myopes using contact lenses and/or glasses. A variable reduction process followed by a clustering analysis was used to discover discrete belief-based segments. The resulting segments were validated both analytically and through in-market testing.

Results: Discontented individuals who wear contact lenses are the primary target for vision correction surgery. However, 81% of the target group is apprehensive about laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). They are nervous about the procedure and strongly desire reversibility and exchangeability.

Conclusion: There exists a large untapped opportunity for vision correction surgery within the low myope population. Market segmentation analysis helped determine how to best meet this opportunity through repositioning existing procedures or developing new vision correction technology, and could also be applied to identify opportunities in other vision correction populations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cornea / surgery*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / trends*
  • Humans
  • Marketing of Health Services / trends*
  • Myopia / surgery*
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / trends*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • United States