LONDON: L'Oréal, the cosmetics giant, is enhancing its digital capabilities in an effort to engage UK shoppers in new ways.

The company has named Julie Thompson as its first digital director for luxury brands, joining existing counterparts in charge of the firm's parallel consumer and haircare divisions.

Thompson will assume responsibility for ranges like Lancôme, Biotherm and Beauté, and has been handed the brief of adopting an "umbrella perspective", Marketing Week reported.

L'Oréal is also aiming to strengthen its understanding of current and potential customers by appointing social media evaluation and analysis specialist Mymarketmonitor to track buzz for all UK brands.

Such activity incorporates gathering information from official editorial content, alongside assessing material posted on blogs, social networks, chat rooms and forums.

While this tie-up essentially takes the form of a "listening and watching" programme, the insights gained are expected to inspire the organisation's marketing and public relations output.

"Listening and engaging with our audience is crucial and we have embraced the opportunity digital media gives us to communicate with our customers," said Emma Dawson, communications director of L'Oréal's UK luxury products arm.

"Both our PR and marketing teams will be looking at how it comes together and how we can develop our strategy from a 360-degree perspective and maximise activity across both functions."

This move marks a major step-change for L'Oréal, and reflects the evolving trading climate.

"As a corporation we haven't monitored digital conversations and the time has come for an online strategy across the business," said Dawson.

"We need to have much more visibility about what's being said about our brands online."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff