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How to Market a Product That is 90% Effective But Full of Poop
By: Cindy Wendland
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The world is full of amazing products people invented to help solve problems. Sometimes we don’t hear about them because the problem they solve has not touched our lives. Sometimes our awareness is limited because marketing efforts are focused on a narrow market. How can these companies effectively reach the people who need their product? Sometimes governments can actually help raise awareness. That is the case with OpenBiome.

Kids love to talk about poop. Bill Gates encourages new toilets to help with sanitation problems in India. North Carolina offers a diaper bank to help infants stay healthy until they can use toilets. The poop discussion has gone mainstream. Apparently it goes even further. There is an infection a person can contract from a hospital called clostridium difficile or C. difficile. For most people, antibiotics will wipe out the bacteria. For those who continue to suffer, diarrhea deteriorates the quality of life. Many people suffer for years without a solution. The ease of finding information via the Internet has led to the use of more household remedies that involve poop and a blender.

“Physicians have discovered that giving C. difficile patients microbes from the human gut can cure the infection. The key is transplant of fecal material, which contains a highly complex and dense community of microbes that include bacteria, fungi and viruses, many of which have not been fully characterized.” Enter OpenBiome, a nonprofit stool bank making fecal transplants easier, cheaper, safer, and more widely available. Having this fecal transplant cures about 90% of the patients. Many who don’t get it will die.

Government has gotten involved as the FDA is evaluating how to regulate this treatment. Just their discussion of how to evaluate it raises the awareness of fecal transplant and in turn OpenBiome. This will help as OpenBiome faces difficulty in how to market this treatment. But anything this effective (90%) deserves some special FDA treatment, communication, and collaboration to develop the necessary studies to make it widely available. The ability to restore health with this transplant is powerful.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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