social media investment strategy.

CFO Intelligence Magazine – Winter 2024

Sanjay Devi
L’Oréal Consumer
Products North America CFO

Finance is a critical partner in social media investment strategy.

Social media can be a powerful platform for companies across industries, according to Sanjay Devi, CFO of L’Oréal Consumer Products North America. But CFOs cannot simply “sign a blank check and sit back,” he warns. “Social media platforms can help consumer-facing businesses build and expand their brand, because the platforms can be highly personalized, and directly address a specific consumer vertical, such as demographics, usage, or preference. Consumers are frequently on multiple platforms but the challenge for advertisers is how to get consumer attention and awareness in this decentralized media environment. To achieve an effective return on investment (ROI), the finance team needs to be an active part of the social media initiative.

Technology and social media have changed the way manufacturers connect with consumers, Devi adds. “For over 20 years, television, radio and printed magazines were the most prominent means of communication. Today social media and other digital platforms dominate how our consumers spend their time. Recently, even retailers have created their own media networks to communicate with the consumer.” The opportunities and challenges don’t end there, since CFOs should also be using collaborative models to address issues like omnichannel consumer purchasing, Devi says. “Consumers have embraced the option to buy offline, at brick-and-mortar locations, online through retail and other websites or apps, and through social media platforms. This results in a shift in allocation of resources, and investment in each of these channels, to drive overall success but more importantly, set up for future growth with the consumer shift.”