Neuro-Linguistic Programming for you

Simply put, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a discipline that analyses individuals’ perceptions of the world with the goal of making people more successful. NLP emphasises both verbal and non-verbal communication: “One of NLP’s key theories is that people think and express themselves in different ways and that the key to effective communication is to understand the ways they do this.”

There is, naturally, a great deal more one could learn about NLP’s theories and strategies; becoming a better communicator is only one area of this field of study. However, NLP’s focus on communication is fundamental and something that all creative individuals should be aware of.

NLP is clearly relevant to all one-on-one interactions, but it is extremely popular and useful across all areas of marketing and advertising. While it’s easier to determine how to sell to a particular person when speaking to them individually, creatives are faced with the more difficult task of targeting a mass of people at once. Unfortunately, many advertisers and creatives are unaware just how NLP could benefit their marketing campaigns, creative outputs and client persuasion skills.

When NLP is used appropriately and correctly, people react more strongly to language that invokes one of their senses – and with people broadly falling into the categories of visual, auditory and physical, advertisers need to work out how best to appeal to all three types of audience.

Photo from Pexels

Neuro-Marketing to them

Because of its interest with how people process information, NLP has a lot in common with the evolving field of neuro-marketing. Neuro-marketing is the study of what is going on in the human brain when people react to advertising.

If you’ve been working in a commercial marketing or creative agency, you have probably come to learn that there are several secrets about how the human brain can be influenced by certain factors, and that each holds some power in holding the audiences attention and promoting a reaction of some kind;

  • Evoking a gut reaction
  • Images
  • Images of people’s faces
  • Colours
  • Names
  • People’s desire for belonging

The above creative and tactical approaches generally appeal to the three categories of learners NLP identifies; visual, auditory and physical.

It goes without saying, that when we target these different groups of people, it is still important to be strategic. Just because there are images or words in a marketing campaign it doesn’t mean that’s enough to cause people to want to click a link, request information or buy a product. The key is to recognise which images or words will elicit the reaction you’re trying to achieve, depending on the type of customer you’re targeting.

Neuro-marketing has had its share of detractors (as has NLP), but it is nevertheless emerging as a legitimate field of study as scientists are conducting scholarly verifiable research. And even though one academic study found that many methods being used to evaluate customers’ decisions are ineffective, the study also demonstrated that neuro-marketing did in fact work.

Marketers should recognise the benefits of NLP and Neuro-marketing

All of us react to situations and make judgments at a subconscious level. Malcolm Gladwell even explored this phenomenon not long ago in his best-seller, Blink. Marketers, whether they are salespeople or advertisers, would do well to increase their skills in non-verbal communication and in perceiving people’s presuppositions.

All of us react to situations and make judgements at a subconscious level. Regardless if you’re a sales person, marketer or creative, we would all do well to increase our skills in non-verbal communication and build our understanding on how best to perceive people’s presuppositions and how we can tailor our communications to get the desired response, whilst providing our audience with what they desire.

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