e-learning Category Management: Become a Category Management Ninja

So You Want to Be a Category Management Expert?

…Because I am just regurgitating data, I am identifying opportunities that might be the wrong ones, I am on the powerpoint treadmill writing presentation after presentation, I cannot get traction with my Buyer, I don’t really know what a great Category Manager looks like. Or actually what really is that thing called ‘Category Management’. Or because I feel that you are letting the team down by not contributing to sales. This product will help you…

What Will I Learn as an e learning Category Management Ninja?

The learning objectives for this e learning Category Management training course are that by the end of this training you will be able to…

  • Know how to identify a Category target that is simple, easy to understand & explain, and how to write the Category target in a S.M.A.R.T. way.
  • Be able to bring your Shopper to life, showing the opportunities, their barriers, their motivations, and their needs.
  • Be able to bring your Supermarket to life, showing the opportunities, their barriers, their motivations, and their needs.
  • Understand how to turn data into insights, and then into opportunities.
  • Be able to sell more of your opportunities to the Supermarket.
  • Know how to increase your chances of landing your opportunities in-store.
  • Understand how to measure your performance as a Category Manager and to continuously improve.

Feedback from Sam Warren at Sainsbury’s

“I studied the 7 week online category management course with MBM and would thoroughly recommend to anyone also considering undertaking it. The week by week learning modules were challenging but manageable and learnings were successively built upon, week by week.  By the end of the course, I had a much more detailed understanding of category management as a whole and a detailed action plan which I could (and have) implement in real life. MBM was recommended to me, and I in turn, would highly recommend them to any commercial professional in the grocery industry.”

Thank you for your interest in this e learning Category Management training course with MBM. The cost is £249.00+vat.

What Can You Expect?

This 7-week course has been designed using over 150 years of Retail Category Management experience, by ex-Nams, ex-Category Managers and ex-Buyers.

Each week we will email you a piece of the course to study and then complete. This online Category Management training course is, however, not for the faint-hearted. You must start each piece of coursework, and where possible, complete it in that week. If you get behind, you may struggle to catch-up.

How Will It Work?

The MBM 73% Category Management Funnel is our unique approach to Category Management Training. We call it the 73% Funnel as 73% of all Category opportunities fail to make it in-store. This is often due to a lack of understanding of the needs, motivations, and barriers of the shopper. Here at MBM, we devised the funnel to help Category Managers focus on what is important. During the 7-week course, we will walk you through the funnel. Each week you will tackle one layer of it:

7-part funnel in different colours representing the category management process
The 73% category funnel evaluates and improves on category targets to convert them to landing in-store opportunities

1. Agree Category Tactics

It is essential to define Category targets from the outset. Without targets, you will have no idea where you are going, and you cannot develop a category strategy. However, we have found many Category Managers to have failed to agree on a specific target for the Category.

2. Understand Your Shopper

Many Category Managers fail to understand two-thirds of the ‘shopper’. We encourage you to focus on the ‘whole shopper’; baring in mind that the in-store customer may not be the ‘preparer’ or ‘eater’.

3. Know Your Supermarket

How aligned is your Category Management process to the goals and needs of your Supermarket? Developing knowledge and awareness of the supermarket’s current strategies will help you develop category tactics that fit.

4. Turn Analysis & Understanding into Opportunities

Are you lost in a sea of Category data? Unsure how to gain deep insight and find Category sales opportunities? We help you match the best sources of data with the correct analytical tools and skills.

5. Sell £ Opportunities to Supermarket

You’ve put in the hard work to find and understand the opportunity. However, we know that only 27% of opportunities will ever make it in-store. The toughest part is often selling the opportunity. We show you alternative ways to engage the buyer and help build your selling toolkit.

6. Land Opportunities In-Store

Store operations are often forgotten or ignored. We help you make sure that your recommendations to your Buyer don’t just look good on paper as a retail planogram, but that they also will land well in-store. This ensures you don’t waste all of your hard work creating your category plan at the final hurdle.

7. Evaluate & Improve

It is essential to understand how to measure your performance as a Category Manager and to continuously improve. That way you can beat the industry average and become a Category Ninja!

Who Is This Training Course Ideal For?

In short, Category Managers. You might be a titled ‘Category Manager‘, or an Account Manager that knows one of the key responsibilities is to manage the Category. In addition, the course is useful for NPD Managers, Marketing Managers, and Supply Chain Managers. Furthermore, Sales Directors and Marketing Directors will also benefit from this training course.

This e learning training course is ideal for Suppliers to UK Supermarkets. That said, Supermarket Buyers would find this useful as well – If only to give better direction to their Suppliers.

What Experience Do I Need?

You might have worked in categories for +10 years, or be just starting out. This training course is suitable for all levels of experience.

The image below will help you to understand which level you are now (we’ll re-visit this image once you have completed this course):

4 Levels of Learning Competence visualised as a triangle
Learning competence begins from making mistakes and gradually getting the right intuition and analysis
  • Junior Category Managers might find the course a stretch at first. However, the course will help you to understand what you don’t know. That, in turn, will help you to move along the 4 levels of the hierarchy of competence. From unconscious incompetence (I don’t know what I don’t know) to conscious incompetence (I know what I don’t know).
  • Experienced Category Managers are often stuck in routines. For instance, you might be stuck on the PowerPoint treadmill. This training will help you to re-focus and to learn some advanced Category Management techniques. Furthermore, it will help you to see whether you truly are operating at the Unconscious Competence (UC) level.


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If our products do not help you to be the best version of yourself, tell us. Simply complete a contact us telling us why. Post them back to us and we’ll refund you. Read our returns policy to find out how.

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