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The Rise of the Chief Content Officer: Shaping the Story

The Chief Content Officer is a well-established role in the media.

But increasingly, it’s being introduced by non-media companies looking to strengthen their consumer-brand relationship.

Here’s why…

Nong Vang on Unsplash

What is a Chief Content Officer (CCO)?

The Chief Content Officer is a role our fashion, beauty, luxury and lifestyle clients are becoming increasingly open to. But, why?

The rise in CCOs in non-media companies is a direct result of two trends:

  1. It’s proving harder than ever the engage with consumers in the cluttered digital arena

  2. Consumers are increasingly resistant to being sold products with ‘push’ marketing strategies.

Clair Carter-Ginn, partner at creative operations consultancy, Forecast, told us:

"The consumer decision-making journey has evolved. Between changes in the way consumers like to shop, increased channels in which consumers can engage with brands, and a dramatic change in customer loyalty, marketers have had to evolve their strategies and response – and that is the core of content strategy."

In this way, the CCO owns and shapes the brand's consumer-brand journey, one story at a time.

Where can you find CCOs?

CCOs typically have a background in journalism, marketing and communications, or content, because they bring the editorial skills needed to tell a story and create the right brand voice.

There are no hard and fast rules about how the Chief Content Officer should be positioned within an organisation but typically the CCO reports into the CEO, although sometimes also into the Chief Marketing Officer or Chief Communications Officer. They may also lead the brand’s marketing and branding efforts if there is no existing CMO.

As the role is relatively new outside of media, KPIs may be somewhat fluid.

It’s worth noting that the title also may vary from one brand to another, with the CCO also known as Editor-in-Chief, Head of Content Strategy, Director of Content etc.

Burberry, Farfetch, Glossier, Matchesfashion, Michael Kors, Refinery29 and YNAP are all brands with content crusaders worth watching.

How do CCOs add value?

Consumer’s expectations are to see new and engaging content every time they interact with a brand. And in our global marketplace, experiences need to be personalised and relevant, and create the feeling that it is a one-on-one conversation between the consumer and the brand. All this requires a staggering amount of content. Having a strong leader at the helm of content strategy, allows brands to be more efficient, effective, and relevant with their content.

As Clair Carter-Ginn explains:

"A number of the most successful brands that we’re working with have seen and understood the need for strong, effective content and a solid strategy behind it. You can’t just throw assets at the wall to see what sticks – brands have to move from a tactical approach to content to a strategic one.
With a Chief Content Officer, or Director of Content at the helm, brands are able to evolve and pivot to create content that increases consumer engagement and thus brand loyalty."

Are you wondering whether a Chief Content Officer could add value to your brand? We’d love to hear from you.

Email us your thoughts.

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash


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