"Customers have always commented on products and services and influenced others to buy – but they haven’t always done it on platforms where the whole world can see what they have to say." Blake Cahill, Head of Digital Philips"

Blake Cahill, Head of Digital Philips



Philips, with its headquarters in Amsterdam, is a Dutch technology company organized into business divisions focused in the areas of: Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Established in 1891, Philips currently operates in more than 100 countries with more than 115,000 employees worldwide.

On a global level, Philips is currently experiencing a digital transformation journey. The transformation is relying on the “digital@scale” – part of the “Accelerate!” strategic transformation program, which involves all the relevant business dimensions: organizational cultures and models, business strategies and practices, technological and operational infrastructures, analytics and intelligence capabilities.

On a local level, Philips Italia acknowledged the need to support the transformation journey at market level by optimizing the social media strategy in a cross-unit perspective, in order to:

  • adapt/customize the corporate digital road map to the local market and integrate it with the missing needs
  • develop digital capabilities and progressively autonomise internal digital competencies in order to share best practices, business cases and KPI examples
  • increase efficiency in social media management and investments taking into account the opportunity cost of current initiatives
  • encourage the internal collaboration beyond silos.



The main objective of the project was to successfully guide the company during its digital transformation, preparing the development of the needed digital capabilities and a new collaborative attitude.

In fact, the biggest challenge to overcome was the collaboration between the business units was perceived as very low. This resulted in a fragmented governance of the digital touchpoints that undermined internal efficiency. Moreover, it induced a scattered presence on social media, where an archipelago of separated channels was delivering a fragmented customer experience. The key goal of the project was therefore to support the development of digital capabilities and culture and to optimize collaboration in order to enhance the digital and social relationship with customers in a cross-unit perspective.



OpenKnowledge designed a systemic approach to Philips digital transformation based on five pillars:

  1. External Understanding: set up of common dashboards for ongoing activities in order to monitor and map conversations about Philips and its social positioning, strategic analysis of online conversation to detect trends, tribes and content areas, detection of key influencers
  2. Social Media Strategy: design of pillars to be established in order to move from a siloed product centered social media strategy to a cross-sector customer centric one. It resulted in three official documents: Social Media Policy, Social Media Governance and Social Media Strategy
  3. Data-driven approach to Search & Analytics
  4. Culture & Readiness assessment, together with an Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) to map the hubs of the organizational networks that can act as a bridge across different business units and identify the clusters of employees more ready to collaborate
  5. Operational support in order to fully implement all the guidelines.



The social & digital business transformation project has allowed Philips to:

  • understand and accelerate the organizational and business journey towards the “digital and social transformation”
  • optimize the company’s social media presence, gaining savings in terms both of internal efficiency and external costs
  • detail a new “digital customer engagement” strategy to enhance the relationship with customers in a cross-unit perspective
  • detect key influencers and advocates for each sector, key professional communities and groups, new market niches, customer clusters and partnership opportunities
  • identify the opportunity areas for B2B business development on social media.