Progressive Grocer

2017 Category Management Handbook

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30 | Progressive Grocer | 2017 Category Management Handbook | December 2016 category. If you need a process for communicating these things to your sales teams and retailers, you should consider a category platform. Shopper Marketing I haven't spoken with anyone in the industry who's figured out what to do with shopper marketing. ere seem to be as many different opinions as people I ask. e solution proposed in CatMan 2.0 is that shopper marketing should be owned and driven by the category management team. While this is certainly not the only means for handling this, I can say that we've found it highly effective. e reason is that our category managers know the most by far about the shoppers at that specific retailer. ey're the ones developing the insights and opportunities, so it's natural that they would also work with the retailer on a strategy to solve these things. Granted, this does create some unique challenges and opportunities, and it's not always simple. You may not want to go so far as to give the direct responsibility for shopper market- ing to your category management team; however, you should do whatever's necessary to make sure that the people with the shopper insights and strategy have input into and influence on your shopper marketing strategy. Technology Evolution and Adoption ere isn't a specific section in CatMan 2.0 that addresses technology. Much like our everyday lives, technology isn't a separate entity. Rather, it's integrated into everything we do. In CatMan 2.0, you'll find technology woven throughout all of the sections, processes and steps. Here are three of the things you'll find there: Analytics, Automation and Visualization: Being on the supplier side, I know the pain that many of you feel. ere are so much data. ey cost so much to access. e tools are expensive. ere are so few resources. Even if you had the money, there are so many options, so how do you know which ones to invest in? Believe me, I'm still trying to figure this out, too. I want to encourage you that you can do something. If you're still using Excel as your primary analytical tool and Power- Point as your primary presentation tool, there's a host of options available to you that will help you. All of us are trying to figure out how we can do more with less. By deploying some of the tools and resources mentioned in CatMan 2.0, we've been able to do things like cut our planogram processes by 75 percent, or even simple things like automati- cally distribute monthly scorecards to retailers. If you're not a technology-minded person, I would strongly encourage you to study the different tech- nologies in CatMan 2.0 and engage the IT people in your company to help you here. Shopper Insights: One specific area you should consider investing in is shopper insights, and yes, there are ways to do this that don't require a six-figure investment. e reason you should do this is that without these data, you're going to make blind, sweeping decisions without understanding what your shoppers are actually doing, and why. In this respect, we've moved from carpet bombs to laser-guided missiles, figuratively speaking. Gone are the days of having to drop an FSI to millions of people. By combining shopper insights with the tactic of shopper marketing, you can be far more effective in achieving your objec- tives and much more productive in how you invest your resources. ere's much in CatMan 2.0 on assessing the "why" in shopper insights, as well as the tactics. ere are some good improvements in CatMan 2.0. And we're certainly a long way from having all of the answers. One of the best things about the CatMan 2.0 process is that we can now update it more easily as we learn a better way. at's going to take all of us. I hope that in some way, I have been able to encourage you to check out CatMan 2.0 and make it your own. Engage with the process, make it better and work with the Category Management Association in helping us all to continue to improve as category management practitioners. PG Jimmy Brooks is sales information systems manager at Collegedale, Tenn.-based McKee Foods Corp. There's a large opportunity to better educate the marketplace on things like what shoppers want, how they behave and what's needed in the category. CatMan 2.0 Continued from page 27

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