Category Management Mastery: The Skinny on What Questions to ask …

Posted by Sue Nicholls, CPSA Founder & President CMKG | Dec 13, 2016 7:35:55 AM

In case you haven’t heard …

Things have changed!

It’s time to face the facts. Our industry and category management have been evolving for awhile (decades, actually). And, although change can be hard to overcome, attendance at our live webinars last week for both Retail and Manufacturing organizations, as well as Solutions Providers confirm that awareness of the changes ahead is growing — and concerning to both practitioners and leaders alike.

Here’s why it’s time to face the facts and consider category management mastery …

 NOW is the time to consider why you should understand CatMan 2.0™ …

Inform yourself.

    Make changes.

Influence the future.

As a category management practitioner, you need to learn more advanced thinking to stay relevant and compete, and learn ways to make better decisions and recommendations in your role for Shopper-focused solutions. 

As a leader in your organization, or someone who can influence change, you need to take it one step further and not only identify the priorities for your organization, but figure out how you’re going to get there.

Understand How Changes Affect Your Role & Organization

  • Why are the changes to the category management process necessary, and what are the implications for you, your customers, and your organization?  

Master your Shopper-Based Approach

  • How can you develop better foundations (as a Retailer or Manufacturer) for a more strategic, Shopper-focused, aligned approach to category management?
  • How can you better reflect Shopper in your foundations for improved fundamentals?
  • What are the best-in-class processes and approaches across categories? business development teams? departments?

Supercharge Category Assessments with Advanced Data and Shopper Insights 

  • Can you answer WHY your Shopper buys?
  • How can you advance the assessments, reviews and analytics in category management? 
  • What areas are most important for you and your organization based on the level of sophistication in your organization, your access to data, and your relationship with your external partners?

Develop Shopper-Focused Tactics Through Advanced Analytics and Data

  • Are you spending too much time or resources for too little Shopper results?
  • How do you move to more advanced approaches across the tactics to better reflect Shopper and more complex data sources?
  • What are the anticipated changes in each of these tactics in the future and how can you reflect them in your work? your organization?  

Build the Best Organizational Structure From the Inside Out

  • How do changes in category management affect the design and development for your organization? for your customers?
  • What needs to change on your team? in your organization?
  • How can you move ahead towards internal alignment?
  • What are the roadblocks? the opportunities?
  • How can you increase collaboration with your external business partners?
  • What is the VALUE, or ROI, of category management work?

Remove Obstacles and Achieve Success in Deployment & Supply Chain

  • What are the biggest challenges in deployment and supply chain that should be considered in category management?
  • How well are you doing at this critical step?
  • How do the recommendations or decisions you make affect the supply chain and where are the opportunities?
  • What are the most effective and efficient ways to ensure compliance and implementation of our plans?

Define Your next step:

  1. Be proactive and educate yourself, your team and your organization on how to master advanced category management.
    Webinars were well attended last week and are now available as recordings below as well as 2 bonus downloads:
    • Advanced CatMan Scorecard (PDF)
    • Overview of Program & Courses Series (PDF)

  2. Learn how you can make changes at your desk or in your day-to-day and long-term role as a leader or practitioner.
    CatMan Master's Training options were announced as part of our webinars with **introductory pricing through December 13th** on category management training Courses Series and Program for Retailers, Manufacturers, and Solution Providers. Purchase details are in the webinars.

Watch our CatMan 2.0 Tips on YouTube


Topics: Category Management Training, Category Management, CatMan 2.0

Written by Sue Nicholls, CPSA Founder & President CMKG

Category Management is my passion. Since beginning with P&G in the late 1980s, I have dedicated my work life to building and sharing this passion with others through active involvement in the industry, including long-term business relationships with large Retailer and CPG executives, development and influence on Category Management Association certification standards, curriculum, and conference education, thought leadership publishing and presentations at CSP News’ Convenience University, CMA’s Annual Conference and LinkedIn, and as a member of DePaul University’s Center for Sales Leadership Advisory Board, and Western Michigan University’s Food Marketing Advisory Board. Beginning in 2019, our catalogue of accredited training that my team and I have developed is part of the Category Management Association’s strategic education initiative for all member organizations. Always anticipating where the industry is moving and the skills needed to compete and stay relevant, I’ve helped to bridge the gap between data and insights pioneering the way we use storytelling and data visualization to better understand analytics and make effective decisions for the future. Using my years of experience, I coach clients of all experience levels in the Retail, Manufacturer, and Solution Provider industries to help them propel forward achieving both their learning and career goals whether in eCommerce, sales, or marketing and beyond. My specialty lies in leadership and engagement, networking and consulting with individuals and large companies from around the world to better improve and develop our curriculum and accredited training programs, like our leading-edge Master’s Training, utilized by CatMan organizations for strategic education. Through this blog and other channels, I share my years of expertise with our industry and believe that an open and ongoing conversation can improve any team’s capacity to implement business strategies that achieve their strategic priorities.