Marketing advice: Promote long-term gut health goals to improve results and retention

Experts in the field of the microbiome discussed the rising spread of miscommunication on the topic during a panel at Probiota hosted by NutraIngredients in Milan (7-9th​ February).

Consumer confusion

Sophie Medlin, consultant dietician and head of nutritional research at Heights, noted the prevalence of patients suffering from gut issues such as colitis, Crohn’s disease, and IBS, with many questioning the array of contradictory advice they have seen online.

“People mostly come to me just for general gut health advice. They’re always asking, how do I know what’s right for me, how do I cut through the noise I hear online,” Medlin said. “They don’t know what to do…

“The work that I’m doing in clinic is very much tailoring the wider public messaging on gut health to individuals to what suits their body and doesn’t affect their digestion and cause symptoms for those suffering from conditions such as IBD,” she added.

Medlin emphasised that it was critical for messaging not to contribute to rising ‘health anxiety’ resultant from fearmongering spread by social media. She said wording should be positive with advice focussing on what people can do and how they can feel as a result.

“The information that’s available is so vast which is what makes it really difficult for people to navigate. They are getting it from so many different places, they just don’t know where to go for trusted information.

“And the information that they’re getting is incredibly conflicting. I think we all have a responsibility to find some centre that we’re giving to people in our marketing communications.”