Tomas Nilsson

Unique conference sheds light on marketing from a rhetorical perspective

Turning to rhetorical theory to study societal phenomena is nothing new. When studying the use of language in various situations, social scientists have gained new insights about the increasing complexity of everyday life. The interest in rhetoric is now growing also in business studies. However, there are remarkably few rhetorically informed studies of marketing. This is something Tomas Nilsson from Linnaeus University wants to change. Together with Chris Miles from Bournemouth University he is the co-organizer of the first conference ever on the theme "marketing (as) rhetoric".

"My research focuses on marketing and sales. I study how marketing managers, salespeople, and consultants argue for business purposes", explains Tomas Nilsson, senior lecturer in marketing who also has long practical experience of marketing.

In his doctoral thesis from 2015, Tomas Nilsson investigated everyday marketing practices to learn more about marketing work:
"I did an ethnographically oriented study. I observed marketing managers during their workdays, talked to them, participated at meetings and joined them on sales meetings. I found out that they argue for business purposes all the time and everywhere. Thus, in everyday marketing work it is impossible to differentiate between a formal and an informal meeting. This would have been difficult to find out without using a rhetorical perspective.

On June 14 this year, Tomas Nilsson, together with Chris Miles from Bournemouth University, UK, will arrange the 1st International Conference on Marketing (as) Rhetoric at Bournemouth University.

"The conference is unique of its kind. It is the first marketing conference ever that has rhetoric as its main approach. If the conference turns out well it will be a recurring event and the next conference will then be arranged at Linnaeus University", Tomas Nilsson explains.

Tomas Nilsson and Chris Miles will also be the guest editors of a special issue on "marketing (as) rhetoric", planned to be published in 2018 by Journal of Marketing Management.

Read more about the conference 1st International Conference on Marketing (as) Rhetoric

Read more about the call for papers for the special issue

Contact information
Tomas Nilsson,, +46 (0)708 57 27 87
Carina Sörgårn, communications officer, +46 (0)705 25 87 99