A pivotal area within a business is the Category Management Team.
Growing the pie, not growing share, doing the right thing and doing it well, preferably within the context of a forward looking category vision, is what category management is about.
At this point we should also talk about the need to have an omni-channel view. It is not enough to only deliver category management in bricks and mortar stores.
So what is needed for great Category Management?
- Category Vision detailing category strategies (driven by consumer and shopper insights) and category tactics by channel
- Point of Purchase Vision which identifies optimum layout, segment adjacencies and core range
- Clear category segmentation validate by both shoppers and consumers
- Actionable insights driven by shopper research to eg give clarity on the triggers and barriers to purchase
- Growth (or decline ) forecasts by segment, to allow you to align space to future sales
- Range review capability, which can be in its simplest form spreadsheet based or facilitated by software
- Market data to understand category performance
- Market data to understand customer performance
- Customer strategies so a customer-centric solution can be created in-line with their direction of travel
- Supporting processes and practices to deliver great cat man.
A good category manager has a very broad role from strategic category strategy creation to the more tactical range and space function. Numerate, compelling and impartial are but 3 words to describe him (her).