Master Essential Skills & Topics for Retail and CPG

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CatManTraining Program, Level 3 CPSA

This advanced training program is designed to build skills in areas like shopper and product supply. It includes a set of on-demand courses that gives participants the skills to function at an advanced level in their role in retail / CPG / FMCG.  This program meets all learning requirements for the CPSA designation.    Who should take this course? For those looking for an advanced understanding of Category Management - and/or who is looking to achieve CMA designation at the CPSA level.   Program Details   Approximately 20 hours course time  Prerequisite: Intermediate category management understanding and/or CPCM Designation (if you are looking for CMA certification).  Note that the CPSA level does not include exam preparation materials as certification is by an essay-based exam that also considers the candidate's experience.  Buy Advanced / CPSA Category Management Training Program ($499) from CMKG.ORG  

CatManTraining Program, Levels 1-2 CPCA-CPCM

This category management training program spans the foundations of Category Management from the foundational to the intermediate level with a focus on in-depth data and analysis. It's a great program if you have a limited background or need a refresher in the foundations, if you want a good general knowledge of CatMan data and analytics, or if you are seeking certification at the Certified Professional Category Manager (CPCM) level with the Category Management Association (CMA). Buy Foundational / CPCA + Intermediate / CPCM Category Management Training Program ($1,549) or Certification Package ($1,699) from CMKG.ORG

CatMan Training Program, Level 2 CPCM

This training program is designed to build category management skills at an intermediate level, including in-depth data and analytics across key data sources and the category tactics.  It includes a set of on-demand courses that will give participants skills to function at an intermediate level in their catman or sales role in retail / CPG / FMCG.  This program meets all learning requirements for the Certified Professional Category Manager (CPCM) designation with the CMA for those who are interested.   Who should take this course? Retail, catman, sales and shopper teams looking for an intermediate understanding of Category Management and/or who is looking to achieve CPCM certification.   Program Details   Approximately 30-35 hours course time  Prerequisite: Foundational / CPCA  Buy Intermediate / CPCM Category Management Training Program ($999) or Certification Package ($1,099) from CMKG.ORG

CatMan Training Program, Level 1 CPCA

This set of foundational courses gives a solid grounding in the catman process, analytics and presentation skills. This program meets all learning requirements for the designation of Certified Professional Category Analyst (CPCA) designation for those who are interested in certification.   Who should take this course? Retail, catman, sales and shopper teams looking for an intermediate understanding of Category Management and/or who is looking to achieve CPCA certification.  Program Details   Approx. 30-35 hours course time No prerequisites Available in Spanish

Assortment Planning in the Omni-Channel

As the omni-channel continues to evolve and shoppers demand more from their experience, we need to understand how to create strategic, profitable and shopper-focused assortments. Join Sue Nicholls of CMKG as she walks through requirements, considerations and analytics for Omni-Channel assortments that reflect the needs of shoppers, retailers and manufacturers.  

Shopper Insights Training Program, Levels 1–3

This set of courses builds important strategic foundations that help participants better understand the Shopper focus in category management, retail, shopper insights, and shopper marketing.    Who should take this course? Individuals and teams looking for a more strategic approach within shopper insights.  Program Details   Approx. 30 hours course time No prerequisites Includes access to Annual Learning Subscription, including 6, live Virtual Training sessions, 25+ recorded Virtual Training sessions, and CMKG-exclusive resources.

Shopper Insights Training Program, Level 3

This set of courses builds important strategic foundations that help participants better understand the Shopper focus in category management, retail, shopper insights, and shopper marketing.    Who should take this course? Individuals and teams looking for a more strategic approach within shopper insights.  Program Details   Approx. 10 hours course time No prerequisites Includes access to Annual Learning Subscription, including 6, live Virtual Training sessions, 25+ recorded Virtual Training sessions, and CMKG-exclusive resources.

Shopper Insights Training Program, Level 2

This set of courses builds important strategic foundations that help participants better understand the Shopper focus in category management, retail, shopper insights, and shopper marketing.    Who should take this course? Individuals and teams looking for a more strategic approach within shopper insights.  Program Details   Approx. 10 hours course time No prerequisites Includes access to Annual Learning Subscription, including 6, live Virtual Training sessions, 25+ recorded Virtual Training sessions, and CMKG-exclusive resources.

Shopper Insights Training Program, Level 1

This set of courses builds important strategic foundations that help participants better understand the Shopper focus in category management, retail, shopper insights, and shopper marketing.    Who should take this course? Individuals and teams looking for a more strategic approach within shopper insights.  Program Details   Approx. 10 hours course time No prerequisites Includes access to Annual Learning Subscription, including 6, live Virtual Training sessions, 25+ recorded Virtual Training sessions, and CMKG-exclusive resources.

Proficiency In Excel

This accredited program builds your Excel skills, no matter where you are in your learning process to help you become more proficient in developing and analyzing Excel spreadsheets using category management data. Your program is broken into different mini-modules that start with the basics, followed by intermediate and advanced topics. Each mini module includes a how-to video, followed by a workshop where you will complete examples that were taught in the video.  Proficiency In Excel ($149) from CMKG.ORG  

30-Day Learning Subscription Trial

The 30-Day Learning Subscription Trial includes lets you test out CMKG’s Annual Learning Subscription. The 30-Day Learning Subscription Trial includes access to CMKG’s Virtual Training Library (29+ courses), plus resources, tools, and microlearning. Explore category management, sales, shopper, space management and more while trying out CMKG’s approach to continuous learning! This low risk option is perfect for those just entering the industry in a retailer or supplier organization. 

Sales Training Program

On-Demand training to build a more diversified skillset need to grow beyond a traditional sales approach. Learn new skills in critical areas of Retail Understanding, Data & Analytics, Presentations & Storytelling, and Staying Relevant. Create a path for greater business success by learning to develop better solutions and presentations for your retail customers. Learn more about Sales Training & Assessment Solutions.

Annual Learning Subscription


*Training Topics, Format, or Audience: On-Demand Learning Learning Subscription Individual Solutions
Future-proof your career by keeping current and upgrade your skills the easy way — with CMKG’s Annual Learning Subscription! The Annual Learning Subscription includes 12-month access to CMKG’s Virtual Training Library (29+ courses), plus resources, tools, and microlearning. Subscribers get so much from us without breaking their budgets. Subscription learning is the perfect way to build skills over time, stay current with the industry, continue to grow your career in our ever-changing industry — whether your part of a retailer or supplier organization. 

Understanding Retailer Strategy and Category Management 1

This accredited program develops proficiency in the foundations of category management, including the process and strategy, from a retailer perspective.  Understanding the foundations of category management is critical to anyone who touches retail. Without the big picture perspective, it’s difficult to understand the role that you play within it and how to create the best solutions. Buy Understanding Retailer Strategy and Category Management 1 ($297) from CMKG.ORG  

Understanding Retailer Strategy and Category Management 2

This accredited program builds proficiency in the category management process at a deep level, including category definition, roles, strategies, and implementation of the plan.  By moving into more depth about the category management process, you will learn to effectively set up your categories for success through these more detailed foundations in category management. Buy Understanding Retailer Strategy and Category Management 2 ($369) from CMKG.ORG  

Advanced Retailer Understanding

This accredited skill development training program builds proficiency in understanding Retailer's business goals and objectives. Understanding a Retailer’s income statement, product supply measures, and the product supply chain will give you new perspective that you can apply to future decisions and recommendations that you make. Buy Advanced Retailer Understanding ($198) from CMKG.ORG  

Proficiency in Understanding and Using Data 1

Learn about how to use key category management data sources (including panel data, interaction data, retail POS data, scanned sales data), so that you will be confident when using these important data sources in your own work. Buy Proficiency in Understanding and Using Data 1 ($198) from CMKG.ORG  

Proficiency in Understanding and Using Data 2

Learn about the key category management data sources (including retail scanned sales, syndicated, consumer panel, shipment, big data) from a topline perspective, so that you can be confident when using any data sources in your work. Buy Proficiency in Understanding and Using Data 2 ($198) from CMKG.ORG  

Category and Business Insights 1

Learning how to turn data into insights and insights into action can be done in simple yet powerful ways — a truly important skill for sales, marketing, and category management professionals. Buy Category and Business Insights 1 ($198) from CMKG.ORG  

Category and Business Insights 2

Complete health checks on your categories/brands are truly necessary to understand the big picture perspective of overall performance. This includes an in-depth understanding of consumer trends, the economy, competitive environment, and each tactic. A deep understanding will highlight strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for your categories or brands that may not be apparent from a topline look at the data. Buy Category and Business Insights 2 ($198) from CMKG.ORG  

Assortment & Space Management Skills

This program builds your skills to help you make better recommendations or decisions that affect product assortment and the retailer's shelf through a better understanding of each of these tactics.  Do you ever think how the decisions or recommendations that you make affect product assortment or space management for the retailer (like innovation, product lineup changes, promotion, display)? Learn how to make more strategic decisions or recommendations by better understanding these two important tactics.  Buy Assortment & Space Management Skills ($297) from CMKG.ORG  

Building Pricing and Promotion Skills

Pricing and promotion are important tactics that have a significant impact on volume and profit in a category. In order to make the best recommendations or decisions for pricing and promotion, you need to understand strategy, data and analytics associated with each of them, ultimately driving volume and profit. The skills you develop in this program will result in more fact-based pricing and promotion decisions (and potential increased sales and profit) that align to overall Retailer strategies. Buy Building Pricing and Promotion Skills ($198) from CMKG.ORG  

Consumer and Shopper Analytics and Insights

This program builds your skills in the area of shopper understanding, with a focus on the retailer's shopper and approaches to market to their shopper. Understanding the Shopper is a priority for most Retailers and Suppliers. By building these skills, you will learn to consider different approaches to understand and reach the Shopper, ultimately creating more effective solutions that result in Shopper satisfaction.  Buy Consumer and Shopper Analytics and Insights ($396) from CMKG.ORG  

Selling Skills 1: Developing Fact-Based Powerpoint & Presentation Skills

Build proficiency in developing compelling PowerPoint presentations using a fact-based approach with logic and flow.  Learn how to take the analytic work you've completed and turn it into a fact-based presentation that looks good, is relevant for your audience, has logic & flow and tells a story. This is where art and science meet. Buy Selling Skills 1: Developing Fact-Based Powerpoint & Presentation Skills ($198) from CMKG.ORG  

Selling Skills 2: Strategic Selling and Collaborative Business Planning Skills

This program helps you to increase proficiency in strategic selling and collaborative business planning / joint business planning.  Once you’ve mastered creating effective, fact-based presentations, it’s time to move into strategic selling and then collaborative business planning. This is the highest level of strategic selling that requires a partnership between the Retailer and the Vendor or Manufacturer partner. Buy Selling Skills 2: Strategic Selling and Collaborative Business Planning Skills ($297) from CMKG.ORG  

CatMan Training Program, Level 4 Master’s

The CatMan Master's Series is a set of 12 virtual courses (recorded) with information about CatMan 2.0™ that will impact individuals’ day-to-day and futures role using an updated, advanced category management process. Get yourself or your team ready with topic-based recorded virtual courses that help learners apply new & refreshed Catman 2.0 principles through examples, strategies and tips. Who should take this program? Category management practitioners, analysts, sales, marketing and other roles who want to move to more advanced. What will I learn? How each topic is, or will be, affected by changes in the industry, Shopper, and CatMan 2.0. How to incorporate the most relevant topics into participants existing category management framework. How to apply new concepts in day-to-day work. How to speak to one’s manager, peers, and customers about the changing dynamics across different topics with clarity and understanding. How to determine which topics are the biggest priorities and opportunities for learners and their role. 

CatMan Training Program, All Courses

This category management training program gives you access to all of our accredited and non-accredited category management courses at the Foundational, Intermediate and Advanced levels, plus an additional 6 non-accredited courses.  Learn everything you possibly can about category management in this expanded set of accredited and non-accredited courses. If you are serious about category management and want to become proficient at all levels, this program is ideal for you, and gives you the best bang for your buck. An "all course access" gives you access to 34 courses (29 accredited and 5 non-accredited), with two years access to the full program in our Online Training & Resource Center. Buy All Course Category Management Training Program ($2,149) from CMKG.ORG  

Collaborative Business Planning

Course Overview   This course gives participants the skills to enable effective collaboration between partners, as well as teaches them how partnerships provide a structure to organize, plan and implement mutually beneficial ideas. It also walks through joint business planning in detail, identifying a framework from which joint business planning should be completed. Participants develop key skills to help them become more consultative category professionals and enables them to become more effective with their efforts to solve customer’s key business issues.     Approximately 2 hours course time

Strategic Selling

Course Overview     Selling takes place internally within retailers and suppliers, across departments and teams, like the category manager at the retailer selling an idea or concept to their business unit lead or manager, or a supplier’s category analyst or category management director selling in an idea or concept to a marketing director or sales director within their organization. We teach that when we refer to the Seller and Buyer, the concepts and analogies are relevant across multiple types of relationships.   Approximately 2 hours course time

Understanding and Marketing to Your Shopper

Course Overview  

Leveraging Data for Advanced Shelving Solutions

Course Overview

Strategic Supply Chain Management

Course Overview  

Promotion: New Analytics and Implications for Retailers and Manufacturers

Promotion, as a driver of incremental sales, has expanded way beyond traditional flyers and coupons to include websites, targeted emails, social media, and retailer mobile strategy. Participants learn to use advanced data and technology to plan effectively for this new and expanding complexity in promotion planning.

Pricing: New Analytics, Issues, Challenges and Opportunities

Pricing is an important but complex tactic in category management because changes can have huge implications on sales and profit. As we continue to expand understanding on just how varied the response to price changes is, we can begin to understand the variables such as online shopping, price transparency, Shopper expectations, and value.

Shopper Marketing: Applying a New Tactic Into Category Management

Shopper Marketing is a brand new tactic and needs special attention to understand how it can succeed and be analyzed alongside other tactics. Learners identify the requirements for successful Shopper marketing, and the importance of using Shopper insights to develop effective Shopper marketing solutions for retailers and their categories.

Deployment, Supply Chain, and ROI: Important Considerations For Long-Term Success

This final, but critically important, implementation step is often misunderstood or even forgotten — even though success of your entire category plan relies on effective deployment. Participants understand the most efficient and effective ways for deployment.

Developing Shopper-Based CatMan Foundations

Well-defined category foundations provide the rules, guidelines, and strategies for a category’s success or failure by aligning to how the Shopper most likely views the category; how items are segmented; and a solid category decision tree. Participants learn how to assign Category Roles and Strategies with the Shopper in mind, including their emotional needs, and be more creative when it comes to defining Retailer strategies.

Building an Organizational CatMan Structure and Strategy From the Inside Out

According to CatMan 2.0™, interdependent roles should be in the same organization, which means Shopper Insights and Marketing belong within category management. Internal alignment cannot happen if the CatMan department is separated from the rest of your organization. Participants learn how to unify category and Shopper perspective, strategy, and understanding and how to measure ROI from your more sophisticated category management process and framework.

Space Management: Space Optimization and Advanced Technologies

Retailers can decide how much space different categories get, which impacts the number of items carried within a category assortment; OR they allocate space to specific categories based on the number of items or product range desired. Learners consider how new data sources, technologies, and analytics can be reflected in advanced space management best practices for shelving — now and in the future.

Assortment: New Shopper-Focused Metrics and Advanced Technologies

Product assortment is where large amounts of analytic time is spent since products not carried by a retailer can’t sell. Assortment analysis determines how to fit innovation into the product range. Participants inquire how to use new data sources, technologies, and analytics in advanced assortment, and consider the impact demand-based clustering and assortment.

Developing Shopper-Focused Category Management Scorecards

Category scorecards are a MUST HAVE for category plans for both Retailers and Manufacturers. That’s because every plan needs objectives by which organizations can measure success. Learners develop an advanced, Shopper-focused scorecard that includes category foundations, critical opportunities, and metrics that correlate best with opportunities.

The Why Assessment: Shopper Insight is the Missing Puzzle Piece

One of the biggest changes and challenges is the integration of Shopper Insights into the Category Assessment to answer WHY they buy. Answer this very important question, and learn HOW to insert Shopper insights into assessments, review and analytics.

The What Assessment: Category Insights Using Advanced Data Sources

Category assessments are WHERE opportunities are identified primarily through the evaluation of historical data. There are many ways that assessments can be improved and enhanced to reflect the Shopper to incorporate more advanced data sources and analytics. Participants learn how to derive deeper category insights.

CatMan 2.0™ Introduction: What’s Changed?


*Training Topics, Format, or Audience: On-Demand Learning Category Management (CatMan) Master’s Level
The category management process has changed to reflect more complex and granular data, more complicated technologies, a more sophisticated Shopper, and an evolving retail Omni-Channel. Learners find out what the most important changes to the catman process are, why each of these changes was made, and the implications of these changes on their work. More importantly, they consider what they need to do differently to navigate the category management road ahead.

Building Excel Skills


*Training Topics, Format, or Audience: Beginner Level Excel On-Demand Learning Training Course
Course Overview Participants have access to a set of mini-Excel courses that start “basic” and move up to “advanced” topics, while all the data examples used in these courses are appropriate to category management work. Participants learn to maximize their Excel skills across a broad range of topics, and they also benefit from the applied category management learnings provided in these courses. Topics reviewed include Range Names, Dynamic Range Names, Absolute and Relative References, Basic Formula Writing, Custom Formats, Custom Lists, Text Functions and VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP formulas.   Approximately 2.5 hours course time (more time will be required for participants new to Excel)

Category Assessment


*Training Topics, Format, or Audience: Beginner Level Category Assessment On-Demand Learning Training Course
Course Overview Participants learn how course time a category assessment that includes “most” and “least” developed brands and segments, highest and lowest growth brands and segments, and benchmarking concepts. Workshops give the opportunity to review a category assessment and complete observations. This course includes calculations for Category $ Share, $ Sales % Chg, Absolute Sales Change, Share Pt Change, Retailer Share of Market, Index vs. ACV and ACV.   Approximately 2.5 hours course time

Building Powerpoint and Presentation Skills

Course Overview Participants build their skills in technical and tactical functionality of PowerPoint and presentation skills. By understanding the fundamentals of PowerPoint, participants become more efficient in developing effective, succinct, and impactful presentations. The presentation skills included in this course allow participants to take their great PowerPoint presentations, and effectively present them to either internal or external audiences. This course is broken into 2 distinct parts, first focusing on PowerPoint skills, then on presentation development and delivery.   Approximately 2.5 hours course time

Category Definition & Segmentation

Course Overview Participants learn to define a category from the shopper’s point of view and understand how category definition affects how the category is merchandised, priced, and promoted. Once the category is defined, it needs to be segmented based on a consumer decision tree. This sets up the category for effective analysis based on how the shopper shops the category. Key steps and varying methods are explored in completing these steps of the Category Management process.   Approximately 2 hours course time

Category Management on Limited Data

Course Overview This course gives meaningful insights into maximizing data in a limited data environment. Participants review different report layouts and perspectives, based on limited data in different areas of the business. They learn about the importance of a trust between retailer and strategic trading partners to be successful in a limited data environment, with participants completing the course having examples that they can take back to their desks as examples. The tactics will also be included in the analytics, with suggestions on how to gather and analyze the data for meaningful insights.   Approximately 2 hours course time

Category Roles


*Training Topics, Format, or Audience: Beginner Level Category Roles On-Demand Learning Training Course
Course Overview This course gives an understanding of the importance of the category roles based on the purpose of the category for a specific retailer. Participants learn how assigning a category role to each category allows retailers to strategically lay out their stores and help with tactical decision making through pricing, promotion, placement and product availability.   Approximately 2 hours course time