CMKG’s quarterly newsletter dedicated to keeping our CatMan Community up-to-date by providing useful ways to proactively improve your knowledge and skills — today and in the future.

Shopper First, Shopper Focus …

It’s Time to Make Changes In Your Approach to Reflect Shopper.

It’s an interesting and rapidly changing industry that we are in.

I was recently at Western Michigan University’s Food Marketing Conference in Grand Rapids, the theme of the conference was “Retail Reinvention: Making the Customer Hero”.

Much emphasis was on eCommerce and the Omni-Channel and the changing retail environment, with focus on disruptors like artificial intelligence and augmented reality that are profoundly changing the way that consumers research and shop for products.

But I find that, amidst all the changes, many retailers and manufacturers appear to be resisting change rather than proactively advancing their approach to better reflect our changing Shoppers.

This newsletter is dedicated to those Shoppers – and provides you with resources to help you move ahead in your Shopper-focused approach.

Cheers to the Shopper!

Sue Nicholls, CPSA • President & Founder, CMKG

Your CatMan Challenge Question


What are specific ways for you to better integrate Shopper into your CatMan work?   

You can improve your focus on Shoppers – through the work that you complete in category management.

Shopper focus can improve in your work through:

  • Assortment and shelving recommendations that consider Shopper using well-researched category decision trees;
  • Analyze syndicated data and retail POS data based on category decision tree segments and Shopper-focused store clusters;
  • Incorporate panel data into all category and business reviews;
  • Understand Shopper from a category and brand perspective, including who they are, their shopping behaviors and why they buy (or don’t).

What are your next steps? Read on for more Shopper insight …

Develop YOUR Skills in Consumer and Shopper Understanding.

Understanding the Shopper is a priority for most of us. By building your skills, you can consider different approaches to understand and reach the Shopper, ultimately creating more effective solutions that build Shopper satisfaction. 

Through May 15, 2018 - Spring Ahead in Your Career

50% off all Skill Development Programs, AND BOGOs on CatMan Programs

Visit our website for details:


CMKG’s training has helped me AND the entire team to better understand the category management process, even though we’ve been practicing CatMan for a number of years. We had opportunity to improve value delivery to both our customers and our business and CMKG’s training helped us initiate necessary changes to do better.
Patty Silveira, Senior Manager, Category Management at Driscoll’s


Glossier’s Success, Nothing to Gloss Over

From Slice Intelligence: “What is Glossier’s formula for success? That is the $52 million-dollar question for industry watchers after the beauty upstart closed its recent round of funding. Slice Intelligence data reveals some answers--most notably that Glossier’s revenue increased by 99.1 percent in the last year, as the buzzy Millennial brand attracted an 86.7 percent increase in buyers over the same period. Not too shabby for a company that started with only four products in their beauty arsenal’’ 

Read Now


 Survey Says Shoppers in Stores Just ‘Want to Be Left Alone’ 

From WWD: For most consumers, the in-store shopping experience is best when they’re given a lot of space. That’s one of the key findings of a just-released consumer survey by HRC Retail Advisory, which polled 2,900 shoppers in North America.’’

Read More

Top 10 Global Consumer Trends

From Euromonitor: “With a stronger global economy, in 2018 consumer expenditure is expected to grow at its strongest rate since 2011. Yet shifting consumer attitudes and behaviours will continue to cause disruption for business in 2018, with mobile technology and internet accessibility playing a key role in shaping these changes."

Read More

Where tomorrow’s shoppers are heading

From Retail Leader: “Retailers and brands have to figure the future out fast, faster than consumers and competitors, to be relevant in a world reshaped by the forces of technology, lifestyle choices, new shopping behaviors and attitudes toward consumption."

Read More

Meal Kit Mania: Innovation for Foodies

From Nielsen: “While the food retail landscape isn’t one that sees an over-abundance of frequent, market-shifting innovation, meal kits are proving to be just that. In just a few short years in fact, they have carved out a unique—and profitable—niche in the U.S. grocery landscape."

Read More

Checkout Without the Lines? Consumers Weigh In on Grocery Experiments...

From Hartman Group: “The single biggest narrative underlying grocery shoppers’ evolving behavior is their belief that their lives are ’more chaotic and hectic than ever before.’ Shoppers today are feeling increasingly time-constrained.’’

Read More

How These Retailers Use Augmented Reality to Enhance the Customer Experience

From Shopify: “Remember when augmented reality (AR) was a pie-in-the-sky idea? Even just a few years ago, AR caught our attention mostly due to its 'cool factor.'

Now it’s becoming more of a reality...’’

Read More

Fad or Fundamental?  What’s Next for Health and Wellness in 2018

From Nielsen: “Finding total store growth has been a challenge over the last year. Despite this challenge, pockets of growth do still exist across the store, and many are being driven by consumers’ desire to live healthier lives and choose better-for-you foods and beverages over conventional products’’

Read More

The Why? Behind The Buy Profiles Five Generations of Grocery Shoppers 

From Acosta: “Research released today in the 14th edition of The Why? Behind The Buy™ from Acosta … provides insight into how each generation is changing the grocery landscape and how brands and retailers should adapt.’’

Read More

Fresh Content from CMKG

Develop your skills in improved Consumer and Shopper understanding

Shopper Insights and Shopper Marketing ARE Part of Category Management 

Category Management and Shopper Insights/Shopper Marketing have parted ways in many organizations. Shopper Marketing reports to Marketing. Category Management reports to Sales. According to new industry standards, this is not the best way to set your organization up for Shopper success. Read more.

Injecting Shopper Into Your Category Management Foundations

So why should we incorporate the Shopper into just about everything that we do? According to the CMA’s recent CatMan 2.0 initiative, Good category plans that incorporate Shopper insights frequently result in double digit sales & profit gains for manufacturer and retailer categories.”  Read More

Remember CONSUMER When Analyzing Sales Results: Consumer Panel Data:  

So you’ve experienced a sales or share growth or decline and want to understand what drove those results. This search for cause is something that happens in our business all of the time. The typical place to look is in your scanned sales or key account/market data. But did you check your household panel dataRead on to learn more.

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Need help with Shopper?

Below is a complimentary resource to help get you on your way.

Consumer panel data is an important data source that provides perspective on the Consumer and Shopper in many different ways. As a CatMan practitioner, you should have a good understanding of this important data source.

Check out this brief video on panel data from our accredited course.

Want to watch the latest CatMan Member webinar?

Focused topics for continuous knowledge increases and skill upgrades …


Identify Growth Opportunities

Every 2 months, we run educational webinars for our entire student body – embracing the opportunity for continuous learning in a broad variety of topics. We have over 15 webinar recordings available to all students as part of their membership.

Our first webinar for 2018 was one on “Improving Your Business Acumen in Category Management”, which received incredibly positive feedback.
Read my blog about this topic.

How can you and your team watch?

This webinar and previous skill-building webinars are available in our online Training & Resource Center as recordings for all paid subscription CatMan Members.

You can watch the latest recording by signing up for our Free-Level Membership, where you’ll also be able to check out other training resources.

Sign up now

April 12, 2018 (11am EST)

Ways to Identify Growth Opportunities In Your Business

In today’s business environment, sustaining growth and profitability can be a difficult task. There are shortened product life cycles, business models change and new competitors appear (particularly in the online space). This constant instability makes it necessary to more strategically seek new ways to grow your business. 

At our upcoming student webinar, Sue Nicholls of CMKG will walk you through some different ways to find growth opportunities in your businessWe are thrilled to have some solution providers participating in this webinar – including Nielsen, Slice, InfoScout, Prevedere and Mintel
REQUEST a one-time guest pass to attend the webinar.
Six times a year, CMKG presents and hosts these highly-rated and popular educational webinars for our students enrolled in courses and programs. Individuals or teams not currently enrolled can attend live webinars or watch the recordings by becoming CatMan Members of our Training and Resource Center. In addition to webinars, CatMan Members also have a wealth of resources at their fingertips, including on-the-job resources, articles, and news items we hand select for people in retail, manufacturing, and solution provider organizations. 
What’s coming in 2018? Topics are chosen and communicated 2 months in advanced of webinars dates and will be announced in this newsletter.

Want to attend our webinars and get access to on-the-job resources and more?

You have several options for CatMan Membership on a monthly, bi-annual, or annual subscription:


What’s ahead?

Category Management Association (CMA) Conference: 2018 Annual Category Management and Shopper Insights Conference

2018 is the 10th year for the annual conference, and CMKG has been a participant in all 10. Of course, we’ll be there this year too! 

The conference theme is “Influencing the Connected Shopper: Integrating Insights and Analytics to Drive Growth”.

It’s a great conference where professionals, leaders in retail, manufacturing, universities, and solutions convene to collaborate, network, learn and grow. It includes several days filled with content, networking, education, training, and relationship building.

Meet with your category management and shopper insights peers to help you grow your business and network with other attendees so you are ready to connect, gain insight and prosper in 2018! Learn more & register here!

Category Management Association Annual Conference

Stop by and visit us at our booth!

Our team will be attending the CMA’s Category Management & Shopper Insights Conference in Nashville, TN on May 7th to 9th.  It’s a great way to network with like-minded CatMan professionals, attend educational presentations, discuss some of today’s issues and opportunities, and learn!
Sue Nicholls of CMKG will be presenting a live training session on “Integrating Shopper Into Your Business” on May 7th in the morning (she will run two sessions at two separate times).
In her presentation, Sue will give examples of ways to incorporate Shopper into the category management foundations and the analytic pathway to ensure that Shopper is considered in every step of the assessment and ultimately, in the category plan. 
She’ll also review the difference between Shopper data and Shopper insights, and provide some quick case study examples to highlight why Shopper perspective is so critical in today’s CatMan world.

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