We first need to understand what a category manager does. The category manager tries to maximize the company’s profits. He analyzes the data collected via shopper behavior through a range of different sources and then translates into meaningful information. It is his duty to ensure that the company provides products that are most desirable by the customers. They work in tandem with retailers to ensure the products are placed in the most significant shelf space.
So what are skills needed to be a Category Management Manager
Category managers can come from a variety of backgrounds such as marketing, buying or insight, and there is not necessarily one ‘typical’ personality that will succeed. Some category roles are a lot more analytical, involving a lot of time dissecting the insight, whilst others are more customer-facing. The best category managers possess the following traits & aspects
Competitiveness : Category managers often are competitive in nature since they are responsible for a whole set of specific products and categories ensure their win against their competitors. There exists a fierce competition between the suppliers to ensure retailers persuade their products within their stores. Retailers consider the market demand for various products and the marketing is done accordingly.
Curiosity : A category manager will always be asking themselves why the consumer is doing what they are doing; so having a natural curiosity for understanding shopper behavior is a great trait to possess when it comes to this type of role.
Analytically Minded : Category managers have the ability to use their insight to develop a strategy & tactics which influences consumers. The most successful category managers have an analytical approach, a way of thinking & of course love for quantitative data.
Strong Communication : A successful category strategy manager needs to be able to understand & interpret the data & also communicate findings to the present stake holders. He has a lot of influence in areas including distribution, promotional strategy, Merchandising & Space and so on. Being a strong communicator is the skill that an ideal category manager should ever possess to succeed.
Creativity : Creative thinking brings about out of the box ideas & innovative plans that help set their category a cut above the rest.