The Category Management Association (CMA) is leading the charge for change by spearheading the development of Category Management 2.0, with the goal of enabling "every practitioner in every channel globally to better meet the needs of the world's shoppers."
A little more than 20 years ago, category management was a breakthrough discipline that encouraged data sharing and enabled joint planning between retailers and their supplier partners. The principals of category management remain true today, but the world the practice was built upon has changed, such that grocery retail now competes in a vastly different marketing environment, one where shoppers are empowered by smartphones, and the world has gone digital. In addition, Big Data and a slew of new software and analytical tools mean there is more information and more ways to access it than ever before.
Category Management 2.0 will address these changes and disruptions, working them into a more digestible, digital resource that will differ from the original model in both content and functionality.
Content will include advances in data and analytics; advances in shopper insights and marketing -- incorporating need state marketing -- success models and content learning across the process; and enhancements in organizational skills and capabilities.
Format and functionality will include a digital Category Management Knowledge Center, managed by CMA; a taxonomy derived from the basic seven-step process; a querying and search function; and continuous updating from all stakeholders. CMA has organized a steering committee comprising retailers, CPG suppliers, brokers, distributors, universities, solution providers and training companies, which are working together to create a best practice standard. Important elements being addressed are implementation and measurements for success.
Hand-in-hand with CatMan 2.0 is Certification 2.0, which includes a shift to accredited certification. The new program, set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2016, will address the global and omni-channel nature of CPG retail.