By Jessica Klepac

In today’s fast-paced world, everyone is strapped for time and looking for ways to find five extra minutes. With all the emails, articles, and new information being thrown at us every second, we’re inundated with words, and then more words. But did you know that words can bog us down?

For emerging biotechs trying to stand out amongst a sea of competition and make an impact, communicating visually can help get — and keep — the attention on you.

There’s Worth in Non-words

Here’s something to think about: reading words alone is actually inefficient. With almost 50 percent of our brains involved in visual processing, studies have shown that after adding visuals or graphics to words, the brain processes them 60,000 times faster than plain text. That’s why you actually stop to look at those social media posts with images or videos, and why tweets with visuals are 94 percent more likely to be re-tweeted.

Did you know that we can get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10th of a second? It only takes us 150 milliseconds (ms) for a symbol to be processed and an extra 100ms to attach a meaning to it. As you’re driving along in your car and you see a yellow sign with a jumping deer, and a sign with a cautionary message, which are you more likely to process within seconds as you fly by? Rely on words only, and you might have an unfortunate deer encounter…

Bambi, okay, but biotechs? Well, with everyone trying to optimize their time, you’re also more likely to capture attention with information that can be understood quickly. And if you want your biotech’s story to really resonate, then visuals will help with potential investors, current and future employees, the media and, well, just about everybody!

Example from the Biotech Industry: Translating the Innate Immunity Story

With more than twenty years working with a variety of healthcare players, we know emerging biotechs have many obstacles to success – one of which is achieving differentiation in the marketplace. And this often comes down to their science. But in order for a science story to differentiate, people need to pay attention to it, understand it, and then remember it. The communication behind the science, and how that science story is told, can be make or break.

Spectrum recently partnered with IFM Therapeutics, a biotech company focused on developing transformative medicines that target the innate immune system, to establish their brand and help hone their story.

Like many biotechs, IFM is operating in a crowded landscape. And although IFM is focused on oncology and autoimmune diseases—two hot areas of science—the challenge emerges in how their story is communicated for key audiences: media, who are deciphering which science stories are the most important and translatable; analysts, who are following the media stories and looking to understand the science from company spokespeople; and then investors, who are faced with choosing the companies they believe will achieve pre-clinical and clinical success.

Because truly understanding the difference between innate and adaptive immunity was critical to understanding IFM’s position in the marketplace and the company’s approach, we knew it was important to utilize visuals—increasing understanding, concept stickiness and belief in the approach—to break down the company’s science. Since working with IFM, the company has brokered a major deal, published first-in-class science, and managed to spin out a new subsidiary to focus on key areas of the innate immune system. All of this was powered by communications and the ability to share a visually compelling story that helps fully explain the promise of the science.

Check out the full infographic demonstrating IFM’s visual storytelling here.


This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Jessica Klepac, VP, Creative Director. For more insight into telling your company’s science story, check out our full series on why success starts with strategy.