The digital landscape is moving fast especially when you consider how new media is playing a huge role in consumer engagement.  Some sectors are utilising new media such as Facebook and Twitter to talk to their consumers and are having huge success. Surely, we can learn from that.  But how does a large multi national implement a digital strategy that has strict governance, no buy in from senior executives and minimal investment?

My personal view is that first and foremost investing in a digital department INCLUDING social media is critical.  A digital department requires leadership and total buy in from senior executives.  Without leadership, it will fail because it requires investment, resources and buy in.  Secondly, integrating traditional silo departments will inevitably have to happen because digital is so collaborative and reaches out to different silo’s such as communication, marketing and even I.T.  They can’t live without one another in the digital arena. Combining them will streamline communication on a daily basis.  One hand will know what the other is doing.  The global message will become more and more consistent and the campaigns will become tight, targeted and quality driven.

A commitment to social media requires a clear understanding of the different audiences, starting a dialogue, providing quality content and responding to the dialogue.  It is about totally committing to your consumers not selling to your consumers.  The strategy for social media should be based on multi messaging to different audiences who have different objectives.  Imagine how powerful it would be to provide ‘real’ information about how your consumers ‘truly’ feel about your product, packaging, safety aspects, and so on to internal people within your organisation who can benefit hugely from this data.  Surely this can only drive innovation within an organisation.   Check out what Scott Monty from Ford has to say about his social media approach:

My advice in particular to FMCG organisations is to decide if social media is an opportunity for your company.  Can you stand out from the rest using social media?  If it is, then you need to remove the scepticism about investing in social media and engage people who can help you to drive your strategy as Ford did and get noticed.  Work with people who really understand how to develop a plan that can achieve very clear milestones and an ROI.

So the next question is – are you ready for the commitment?