Biotech Marketing: Turning the Paige

AI pathology startup Paige may have been born out of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, but its marketing strategy goes in a new direction.

Paige's biotech marketing supports its mission.

New York-based startup Paige, short for Pathology AI Guidance Engine, is a biotech company focused on supporting pathologists in making accurate cancer diagnoses. The company was originally born out of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, a private leading cancer research and treatment center, also located in New York.

Paige develops tissue-based artificial intelligence intended to support pathologists in diagnosing and treating cancer. It currently specializes in prostate and breast cancer detection, but is working to expand both its technology offerings and the types of cancer it aims to help diagnose and treat.

Both Paige and MSK are pioneers in cancer research and treatment. Both have been home to some of the same top researchers, engineers, and pathologists. But if there’s one thing Paige did not take from its parent company, it’s MSK’s advertising strategy. 

This is due mainly to a difference in audience. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is focused on attracting individual patients and referrals from their doctors, but Paige is geared towards investors.

For high-converting copy and content, get in touch with MarketSmiths today.

A Competitive Arena

Biotechnology is the scientific field focusing on using living organisms to develop healthcare products and practices. As technology advances, the biotech industry only becomes more competitive.

Because of the fierce competition, choosing the right words to market your company is important when it comes to gathering investors. A recent piece of controversy within the biotech marketing arena highlights this importance. Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, a company aiming to develop a medical device that runs hundreds of tests using just a single drop of blood, gathered millions from investors solely on the basis of persuasive words. (It was later discovered that the company did not, in fact, successfully develop any of the technology it claimed it had.)

In a competitive arena, Paige is a frontrunner. The company, led by Dr. Thomas Fuchs—sometimes known as the “father of modern pathology”—emerged on the scene in 2018. In 2019, Paige raised $45 million in investments. In 2021, it raised $100 million. While much of Paige’s success is due to accomplished founders and genuinely cutting-edge technology, it also boasts a sleek website and strong marketing copy. 

Attracting Investors Instead of Patients

Biotech companies face a unique marketing challenge. Oftentimes, they’re developing technology that ultimately aims to be scalable for the masses. But first they have to assemble a small pool of investors to make it all possible.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s website design is bright and welcoming. Its homepage declares: “Leading the fight against cancer. Always focused on you.” Beside the slogan is a photo of a nurse smiling warmly. It touts its “30+ years of award-winning excellence.”

Paige’s website tells an entirely different story. The homepage displays a bold purple graphic splashed across a dark background. The accompanying copy states: “Transforming Cancer Diagnostics. Paige products can transform the way pathologists work by bringing confidence to diagnosis.” Their news page features the tagline “highlighting innovation in action” overlaid across a sleek high-rise overlooking the Empire State Building and city skyline. It suggests a feeling of adventure and discovery.

Where MSK’s copy is focused on the here and now, and on highlighting what they’ve accomplished in the past, Paige’s copy is all about the future. MSK is looking to meet its audience—patients and their doctors—where they are now. Paige, on the other hand, is selling the opportunity for investors to get in on the ground floor of a revolution. Tech copy is all about highlighting change, and this is precisely what Paige’s website does in its biotech marketing.

To Keep it Brief

If you hover your cursor over each of the sections of MSK’s website, you are met with many, many options of subheaders to navigate to. This meets the needs of MSK’s expansive audience. There are separate pages for patients, doctors, and journalists. 

While MSK’s website does tell the viewer about the type of care they’ll receive, it also allows patients to schedule appointments and doctors to submit referrals. It has to fulfill multiple functions.

Biotech marketing is a different ballgame. That’s why Paige takes the opposite approach. When you’re selling cutting-edge technology, you have to be especially sure your website is sharp and easy to navigate. It’s the first view potential investors have into your company. And if your website design and copy aren’t top-notch, they’ll likely assume your technology isn’t either. 

Paige expertly distills technical concepts into short blurbs. Investors don’t usually want to read every detail. Those who do can easily navigate to the “Resources” page that offers neatly organized, in-depth case studies. 

Paige also gets specific about  accomplishments. It sticks to the facts and concisely tells investors exactly why it’s a trustworthy company. For instance: “Paige’s advanced approach to AI development resulted in the first FDA approved AI-based pathology product available for in vitro diagnostic use.”

MarketSmiths Case Study

A medical technology startup, Ezra used the latest technology to screen patients for prostate cancer. Unfortunately, its website didn’t match these ambitions—it was too serious, and risked alienating the at-risk patients Ezra was trying to attract. But after approaching MarketSmiths, Ezra soon got a website it could be proud of. Interviewing a number of SMEs, we dug deep into the science of cancer diagnosis—while keeping copy upbeat and approachable. Between that and help with social media and SEO, we’ve helped transform Ezra into one of the most impressive healthcare firms around—and kept their audience safe from the scourge of cancer.

Making AI Human

Even when selling AI technology, copy should be human.

Paige was once known as PaigeAI. Recently, the company dropped its original “AI” from its name—a strategic advertising choice many AI startups have made. Many associate the term “AI” with sci-fi robots with sinister intent. Removing the term is an attempt to bring the humanity of an organization into focus. 

Paige also emphasizes the company’s humanity throughout its website copy. For instance, it describes itself as a company “built by pathologists, for pathologists.” Paige takes care not to use too many technical terms or go too in-depth on its web pages. The technology is complex, but the copy isn’t.

Want human copy for your AI technology? Contact the MarketSmiths team today.

Caitlin McQuade

Caitlin McQuade

Caitlin is a theatre-person-turned-copywriter with a deep love for good storytelling. In her stint as a freelancer, she wrote everything from corporate blog copy to a screenplay adaptation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. When Caitlin isn’t writing, you can usually find her at a play or concert, checking out a new coffee shop, or exploring the city.

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