Phase one means building a strong foundation. The benefits of a strong foundation will be felt for many years to come. Rapid expansion is good, but not if it means sacrificing quality and support. Customers will talk about the NeuroStar to others. This best advertising that the company can have is to make certain that customers and patients have a positive experience not only with the device, but with the company and staff as well. The company needs to treat its customers the way they wish to be treated themselves. This is the philosophy that will result in building a strong base. This initial phase may take as long as two years.
Once a strong foundation has been established and sales begin to increase as a result of initial marketing and customer support efforts, then the business can focus on picking up the pace. It will be at least five years for the market to mature and at least ten for it to become saturated to the point where further expansion is needed to sustain growth. The market is young, which means years of steady growth. During this phase focus will be on building a client base from primary market targets, such as clinicians and treatment facilities. After it is estimated that nearly 70% of this market has been captured or approached, marketing will begin to focus on secondary marketing targets such as general hospitals and educational facilities.
The goal is to continue to expand phase two for as long as possible. Phase two represents a phase of solid growth. The market will continue to expand and develop. During this phase measures should be taken to expand the current offerings. Actions that will help to maintain market growth include development, licensing, and marketing of new improved editions of NeuroStar TMS and the development of similar devices for other disorders. The product pipeline should continue to expand during this phase. This will allow sales personnel to approach primary targets that already own a unit to attempt to get them to upgrade, or to try a different device. This marketing strategy will allow the company to postpone maturation of the market for as long as possible.
When it is estimated that approximately 70% of the secondary target market if saturated, it will then be time to consider seeking expansion into the global market. The process for obtaining regulatory approval in desirable targets overseas will begin. Culturally relevant marketing procedures will be developed and efforts at global expansion will begin.
Phase three represents a mature market where most of the primary targets and secondary targets already have a machine, or do not want one. Continued expansion of the product line will ensure the ability to maintain sales growth. Expanding into the global market could be the key to long-term sustainability once the domestic market is nearly tapped out. It is not expected that this stage will occur before 10-15 years. With the introduction of new products and improvements on old ones, Neuronetics may be able to avoid maturation of the market well into the long-term future.
Neuronetics represents an exciting opportunity for the entrepreneur with long-term vision. The worst mistake that the company could make would be to expand too rapidly. They may experience rapid growth in the future, but they are more likely to make mistakes that could cost them their reputation and customer base in the future. This situation must be avoided in order to preserve the longevity of the company in the future.
Neuronetics, Inc. is an innovative company with innovative ideas. Their key strength lies in the ability to establish themselves in the market early on in the game. Their strengths outweigh their weaknesses. They have many opportunities that have presented themselves, and it is expected that they will be able to overcome perceived weaknesses and threats to their success. However, these threats can only be overcome if upper management has the foresight to anticipate them.
Neuronetics, Inc. is a pioneer in the use of magnetics for the treatment of conditions using magnetic fields to stimulate neural response. Medical magnets have been on the market for many years with varying degrees of success, but these devices never made it into the clinical setting. Neuronetics, Inc. has been able to do what others only wished they could do. This small success is only the beginning of a long chain of success for the company in the future.
Fitzgerald, P., Fountain, S., & Daskalakis, Z. (2006). A comprehensive review of the effects of rTMS on motor cortical excitability and inhibition. Clinical Neurophysiology 117 (12):