Our managing editor, Amy Nicholson, says it’s time for businesses to install their own great content leaders, who can bring together expertise from every division in their company to create a great content strategy. ClickZ caught up with Amy to find out more in advance of her talk at this year’s Shift event.

Why is now the time for businesses to install a great content leader?

Because content is bigger, faster and stronger than it’s ever been, and it deserves the respect of its own department. Why? It’s not a conceit or a vanity project – content makes people money. And its value is easier to prove than ever.

Content is everywhere – on dozens of channels that didn’t exist 10 years ago and performing 1,000 functions that cannot be limited to the old marketing and PR pots we’re used to. We’re not just talking about another slew of “10 winter skincare dos and don’ts” either, we’re talking sophisticated personalisation models, heavily optimised transactional processes and gorgeous, immersive video. Content is everything.

Because it’s such a powerful force, it needs a firm hand. It needs someone who can work across these divisions with enough influence to make real changes and enough strategic thinking to see the cumulative impact. It needs someone who can draw the distinction between useful, valuable content and something that adds to the noise.

But unfortunately for a lot of companies – especially the big, old ones – the structure they’re working in doesn’t support this change in thinking.

So they might have someone in digital or even IT looking after the back end of the website, product teams managing product pages, and then SEO, CRM and marketing teams doing a load more work besides, with no one at the top pulling all of these crucial operations together.