Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Category Management Series: Category Management And CRM

Here is a new article about category management. As you all know, I am category management at DIA but also a customer relationship management expert. And a lot of times, people wonder what is the link between those two activities.

A category manager, as I say most of the time, is in charge of the 4 marketing Ps of a category (a group of product).
  • Products: The category management is head of the offer of a retailer. It defines the listing of products, optimizing both customers' needs and expectations and the retailers' sales and profits.
  • Price: A category manager works on the price of the products in order to have a great price perception for customers, being competitive, but also have a good mix allowing the category to contribute in terms of margins.
  • Place: The category manager sets the merchandizing plan trying to influence shoppers decision.
  • Promotion: The category manager tries to define the best promotion plan throughout the year, with different goals, such as marketshare gains, speeding up sales of specific products, highlighting innovations to help them to have a good start...
A category manager has always in mind what are the priority of its company, in terms of sales and profitability. But it is also linked to customers' choices and needs. A category manager needs to analyze sales, new customer trends, market data... It needs to know what the customers need.

Hence, the category manager relies a lot on customer data, in order to make decisions. I believe that category managers may not leverage a 100% the full potential of CRM, in terms of knowing customers, being more efficient in its promotions and so on. But thanks to new technologies, especially mobile ones, it will become easier and easier to do so. New tools exist in order to interract more with them, to help them in their every day life, and these are the next challenges of the trade.

This is what I am trying to do as a category manager: 
  • Always try to know more about customers decision making process
  • Analyzing new trends, new usage of the products
This article is part of the category management series. Here are the other articles: