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Natural Language Processing in Marketing

aTechnical University of Munich, Germany
bColumbia Business School, USA

Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

ISBN: 978-1-80262-876-0, eISBN: 978-1-80262-875-3

Publication date: 13 March 2023


The increasing importance and proliferation of text data provide a unique opportunity and novel lens to study human communication across a myriad of business and marketing applications. For example, consumers compare and review products online, individuals interact with their voice assistants to search, shop, and express their needs, investors seek to extract signals from firms' press releases to improve their investment decisions, and firms analyze sales call transcripts to increase customer satisfaction and conversions. However, extracting meaningful information from unstructured text data is a nontrivial task. In this chapter, we review established natural language processing (NLP) methods for traditional tasks (e.g., LDA for topic modeling and lexicons for sentiment analysis and writing style extraction) and provide an outlook into the future of NLP in marketing, covering recent embedding-based approaches, pretrained language models, and transfer learning for novel tasks such as automated text generation and multi-modal representation learning. These emerging approaches allow the field to improve its ability to perform certain tasks that we have been using for more than a decade (e.g., text classification). But more importantly, they unlock entirely new types of tasks that bring about novel research opportunities (e.g., text summarization, and generative question answering). We conclude with a roadmap and research agenda for promising NLP applications in marketing and provide supplementary code examples to help interested scholars to explore opportunities related to NLP in marketing.




The authors thank Matthias Aßenmacher for feedback on an earlier version of this chapter. Jochen Hartmann is grateful for the grant “Challenging the Boundaries of Natural Language Processing,” received from the Claussen-Simon Foundation.


Hartmann, J. and Netzer, O. (2023), "Natural Language Processing in Marketing", Sudhir, K. and Toubia, O. (Ed.) Artificial Intelligence in Marketing (Review of Marketing Research, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 191-215.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Jochen Hartmann and Oded Netzer. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited