CATEGORY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
Q: What is the mission of the
Category Management Association
and Shopper Insights Management
Our mission is to help our members increase
their sales and profits through best-in-class
use of their data to drive insights and execution
of category management principles. We
foster better collaboration and enable the
implementation of category management
tools and processes. We connect the right
solution providers to solve the business issues
of our manufacturer and retailer members. We
increase effectiveness and improve efficiency.
Q: Who are your members?
Our members fall into three buckets—retailers,
manufacturers and solution providers. Our
retailers include Walmart, Target, Sam’s,
Grocery (Meijer/HEB/Weis), DIY (Ace/Home
Depot/Lowes) and convenience-store chains.
Our manufacturers include Nestle, P&G, Coke,
Pepsi, Unilever and many small manufacturers.
The solution providers include Nielsen, EYC,
Kantar, Relex, JDA and people who solve the
everyday issues of our members.
Q: What do you see as the biggest
changes in category management
over the past couple years?
We are on the cusp of the biggest change in
category management since the concept’s
introduction in the mid -1990s. The explosion of
new data—ecommerce data (hits, conversion,
time on page), social data (likes/dislikes/
reviews), shopper journey to purchase—
combined with syndicated and retailer POS,
HH panel data, loyalty cards and other data
types has made the category manager’s job
The CMA/SIMA is excited about the platforms
that make analysis of all of this data possible.
For example, rules-based planograming
software can now draw planograms that
used to take 10-13 weeks in just 72 hours.
Assortment optimization could be incredibly
data intensive, but software advancement has
provided answers in days versus weeks.
Q: What is the biggest need for
category management in the next
We see the need for higher level insights
regarding the drivers behind the three key
shopper experiences today. The three shopping
experiences are bricks and mortar, order on-line with pick up at store and order on-line with
home delivery. Category managers need to
deliver insights on each of these experiences
and answer the key questions: What is
happening? Why is it happening? How should I
The ability to understand and articulate why
Q: What advice would you provide
and when shoppers use each of the experiences
will provide tremendous competitive advantage
for a category manager. The days of using ads,
television commercials and coupons to drive
demand is over. The insights behind the drivers
of the three shopping experiences are the new
keys to understanding and creating shopper
demand. We live in a shopper’s world where
convenience, personalization and speed-to-
touch drive purchase behavior.
to someone new to the industry and
working in category management?
Invest in skill development, especially
regarding turning data into actionable insights.
Today’s category mangers need expertise in
finance, shopper insights, product supply and
consultative selling. It’s an incredibly exciting
time, but they need processes and tools to
harness the power of all the data. Best advice:
come to our conference in February and learn
We are on the cusp of the biggest change in category
management since its introduction in the mid-1990s.