Welcome to 2018!

I recently ran a webinar on “2018 trends and how they will affect category management”. The question that I challenge each of you to consider at the beginning of this new year is: 

How am I changing to reflect what’s happened and what’s ahead?

We’re anticipating significant advancements in:
Virtual Reality (VR)… Augmented Reality (AR)… Internet of Things (IoT)… Continued Evolution of eCommerce and Omnichannel… Advanced Data Sources… Sophisticated and Predictive Tech & Analytics… 

All to better satisfy the needs of our Shoppers.

This entire newsletter is dedicated to ways for you to improve your approach to proactively prepare for a successful 2018 and beyond.

Happy new year & Cheers to learning!

Sue Nicholls, CPSA • President & Founder, CMKG

Your CatMan Challenge Question


What are the CatMan foundations that guide your work, both as an individual and as a team?    

In many instances, foundations are lacking— usually with missing corporate strategies, guidelines and/or processes, or a linear approach to analytics with a missing or weak Shopper component.

Lack of foundations leads to:   

Less efficiencies & effectiveness…   

Internal misalignment…   

Limited ROI in CatMan work…   

Shopper dissatisfaction…  

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

Learn what changes are coming and upgrade your relevance for what’s ahead.

Catman 2.0™ is affecting our industry in ways we see now and in ways that we have to anticipate. Retailers and Manufacturers alike need to stay relevant and compete so they need team members that are informed, skilled, and strategic. Understanding how category management has changed, and how you can adapt in your role, is critical for meeting the needs of Shoppers.

Learn more …

CatMan Master’s Training helps position you and/or your team with how to understand and use Catman 2.0™ principles through examples, strategies and tips through a series of 12, 90-minute webinars plus resources.


How to be a Category Captain

From Progressive Grocer: This article explores the role and work to be done, the data requirements, necessary skills, and the process outlined in CatMan 2.0.

Each retailer has a distinct set of expectations and deliverables for category captains; however, there are core job requirements. Manufacturers that deliver on the requirements will help influence strategies and tactics in the role of category captain. 

Read Now


Data Analytics Top Trends In 2018

From TheInnovationEnterprise: The last year has seen the world of big data consumed by intrigue, as accusations abound that dark forces are using it to subvert democracy and tear apart the very fabric of society.

Read More

The future of category management: Top trends for the next decade

From JDA.com: Retail customers of the 21st century are more demanding than ever before, and their shopping behavior is more complex. Whether we like it or not, the traditional method of serving the market no longer works.

Read More

Retail Trends for 2018

From Shopify.com: Show of hands: Who else is tired of the term, “retail apocalypse”? While news of store closures filled the headlines in 2017, there is a ray of light in the year ahead. For starters, the negative narrative of “retail doom and gloom” was sensationalized and overhyped.

Here are some stats you may not have heard:

Read More

10 Workplace Trends You’ll See in 2018

From Forbes.com: Every year I give my forecast for the top 10 workplace trends for the upcoming year. The purpose is to help prepare organizations for the future by collecting, assessing and reporting the trends that will most impact them.

Read More

Fresh Content from CMKG

Do changes in CatMan impact your individual role? 

Why CatMan Needs More Critical Thinkers

In other words, why did they or didn’t they buy? Why is Shopper satisfaction growing or declining? Why are business results trending up or down? As the Shopper path to purchase becomes more complex and non-linear, so does the analytic pathway that we need to follow to understand the Shopper. Read More

Limited Data is a Fact of CatMan Life for Many. Here’s Why.

Based on the fact that MOST organizations have limited data in one way or another, all approaches to catman work aren't the same. Therefore, not all category management can be created equal (makes sense, right?). A great way to think about this is through a tiered approach. Read more.

Build Your Strategy Behind Assortment and Space Planning

What is the strategic level of your team or organization when it comes to Space Planning and Efficient Assortment? Space planning and efficient assortment are BOTH very important for Retailers and Manufacturers — so why are they treated so tactically? Why don’t teams and organization consider more advanced shelving solutions and take full advantage of opportunities to reach the Shopper? Read more.

Get thought leadership in your inbox —

CMKG-audience_Manufacturers icon detailed training plan-1.png

New to CatMan? Need to learn more now?

Below are a couple of complimentary resources to help get you on your way.

  Request our complimentary video on category management

  Watch our Master’s Training intro video about advancements in data, technology and Shopper

Want to watch the latest CatMan Member webinar?

Focused topics for continuous knowledge increases and skill upgrades …

Trends in 2018 That Will Affect Category Management.

Sue Nicholls presented and discussed key trends that will affect your work in 2018, including Shopper, Workplace, Marketing, Data, and Technology.


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

What’s Next?

Improving Your Business Acumen in Category Management, February 8, 2018 from 9am - 10am MST (11am - 12pm EST).

Mark your calendars for this 60-minute webinar where Sue Nicholls will walk you through a big picture perspective to improve your business acumen. Learn how to increase alignment with your multi-functional teams and external customers covering finance, strategy, and decision making.

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 resource and more?

You have several options for CatMan Membership on a monthly subscription:


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