Speaking the Same Language: Exploring the relevance of Neuro-Linguistic Programming to Marketing Communications

Heather Skinner, Paula Stephens

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Individuals process each and every encounter with the external environment using sensory system representations (pictures, sounds, feelings, etc.). Studies of neuro-linguistic programming have indicated that each individual tends to have a preferred sensory representational system with which they will internally code these experiences. Market segments are comprised of individuals who, although possessing similarities across traditional segmentation bases, also have different preferred sensory modalities. Therefore, if consumers within any given target market segment do not all talk the same sensory language, marketers are failing to get their message across to everyone within that segment. This study is concerned with examining the efficacy of television advertising in communicating to those within a target group by exploring the links between the advertisements that 'speak' to them most and their preferred representational systems. It finds that participant reactions to those advertisements that they regarded as having the most effect were expressed predominantly in language relating to their preferred sensory representational systems. Furthermore, where participants with different representational systems chose the same advertisement as having the most effect, the reasons for their choice differed on a sensory basis
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)177 - 192
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Marketing Communications
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


    • neuro-linguistic programming
    • television advertising
    • consumer behaviour
    • sensory representation systems


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