I read with interest your article about fmcg brands and their use of the web ('Fmcg brands should spread their nets wide') and concur with Jo Malvern's view that building a website about a washing powder or beer brand is rarely the answer.

Consumer engagement is about just that getting your customers involved. That doesn't necessarily imply a product focus, so much as a focus on what your consumers want and what they do in their everyday lives.

As Jo points out, social media is an excellent way of promulgating engagement, but it is an environment that is as frightening as it is alien to many brand marketers in the intrinsic lack of control over what's published.

Fmcg brands need to understand that the power is now in the hands of the consumer.

As with any crowd-sourced content, the key is never in suppressing what you don't like, so much as amplifying what you do naturally and gently sidelining naysayers.

This requires a major shift in the way fmcg marketers think.

Social media offers the opportunity to influence customer behaviour and thinking, while at the same time creating a much deeper and more real relationship with customers than is ever going to be possible with a 30-second advertising spot.

Nick Gillett, managing partner, Tangent One