How to Become a Category Manager
Step 1: Understand the job description and responsibilities of a Category Manager
What does a Category Manager do?
A Category Manager develops the overall strategy for a product category and researches new product options in the category to drive sales and achieve targets. Leads a team that provides category insights and proposals by analyzing marketing and customer data and monitoring relevant market conditions. Being a Category Manager works closely with sales team to determine optimal pricing through analysis of sales trends, competitors, buying habits and planograms of products to promote sales opportunities. Provides effective promotional materials. Additionally, Category Manager may develop special arrangements with vendors to enhance product promotions. Requires a bachelor's degree of marketing. Typically reports to a head of a unit/department. The Category Manager typically manages through subordinate managers and professionals in larger groups of moderate complexity. Provides input to strategic decisions that affect the functional area of responsibility. May give input into developing the budget. Capable of resolving escalated issues arising from operations and requiring coordination with other departments. To be a Category Manager typically requires 3+ years of managerial experience.
The category manager is responsible for contacting and managing both buyers and vendors of products.
Awareness of sales trends and future buying needs is a critical responsibility of category managers.
Promotion of a product, including store displays, packaging, and advertisement, are other areas overseen by a category manager.
Managers work with the marketing department to split test packages and commercials to boost profits and increase the customer base.
Most category managers work a standard 40 hour work week, although they may frequently work additional hours to meet deadlines and handle their workload.
Step 2: Learn best tips to become a Category Manager
Best tips for those who want to become a Category Manager
Here are some tips to become a Category Manager.
Don’t be afraid to take a unique path to your goal.
You must have adequate cooperation skills to succeed in this position.
Don’t be afraid to close the deal.
Follow and embrace the leadership and cultural principles within the Category Management team that are intended to enable a fully integrated Product Lifestyle approach to managing categories within the broader consumer business.
Develop annual category and sub-category business plans including budgets, forecasts and financial targets 1-3-5 years out.
Step 3: View best colleges and universities for Category Manager
Best colleges and universities for Category Manager
- Butler University
- Carroll College
- Cooper Union
- High Point University
- Princeton University
- Providence College
Step 4: Think about whether is it worth to be a Category Manager
Is being a Category Manager Worth it?
We’re seeking highly analytical, passionate, and self-motivated individuals to join our North American Retail Buying and Category Management teams.
In this Category Manager role, you’ll work with external partners, our suppliers, and internal cross-functional teams to advance your category’s business agenda and drive strategic business decisions.
You will be expected to define overarching goals and strategy for your category, problem-solve, articulate and execute against tactical plans, and manage key business metrics.
Category Managers interact with our suppliers every day. We like candidates with consultative mindsets who want to work with external partners.
Our business is in high-growth stage and so is our team. Are you an effective people manager? Category Managers are expected to manage others either right away or relatively soon.
Step 5: Prepare relevant skills for being a Category Manager
What skills do you need to be a Category Manager?
In order to drive yourself and your team to success, in a management position you need to have a broad base of skills. For success in this position, you effeciency with these skills is key: Category Management, Market Research, New Product Introduction, Product Marketing. For this role, you will need to be adept in with: General Data Analysis Software. Although every company varies in their requirements, these competencies will help you in this role.
Managing Suppliers is one of the most important skills for a category manager.
Without a strong foothold in supplier management, a category manager will fail his organization leading to a compromise in its end product.
Commercial Awareness is necessary for a category manager to be able to negotiate commercially successful deals with suppliers.
It requires a category manager to take understand maverick spend, pricing models and variables, investment outcomes, and other procurement related risks.
For category managers it is necessary to be able to manage complex projects involving multiple stakeholders with varying degree of expectations, cross-functional working style, and diverse cultural backgrounds.
Step 6: View average salary for Category Manager
How much does a Category Manager make?
The average salary range for a Category Manager is from $99,210 to $122,255. The salary will change depending on your location, job level, experience, education, and skills.
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