Category Management Plan Example: Strategy & Scorecard
After completing the Assessment "what" and Assessment "why" phases of the CatMan 2.0 process, it can be tempting to jump straight into the tactics and implementation of all of the existing things you've learned. However, it is critical that category managers take their time at this stage, to document the Strategies and Scorecard that reflect the go-forward strategy for the category. The tactics and implementation of category management review findings can be far reaching and involve resources from across the company. Therefore, it is fundamental that the Category Strategy and Scorecard be completed as a quick resource to ensure alignment across implementation and over time.
What should a Category Scorecard DO?
- Monitor progress to ensure that you’re going to accomplish the strategic objectives in the category plan
- Include regular reviews of the business that includes key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Measure how your organization is doing against pre-defined goals or targets
What Category Scorecard should NOT DO?
Your category scorecard is NOT the same as corporate monthly reports that measure overall business results.
Below, we'll summarize the category review with an example Category Strategy & Scorecard for Jones Grocery's ice cream category.
The following strategy points are derived from the culmination of all the research that has preceded this stage of the process. This strategy reflects the following mutually re-enforcing strategies and findings:
- INCREASE MARKETING PRESSURE ON HEALTH-ORIENTED ITEMS
- Jones Grocery's corporate strategy of increasing transparency about food content, ingredient sourcing, and production processes
- The finding that health-oriented items are driving growth in the category
- The finding that Jones Grocery is currently putting sub-optimal tactical pressure on these items
- BUILD THE BUSINESS AMONG HEAVY USERS
- The Jones Grocery corporate strategy of increasing share among heavy users of every category
- The finding that ice cream is frequently in baskets of Jones Grocery's best (heavy buying) shoppers
- The finding that Jones Grocery's share among heavy-using ice cream households in its trading area is slightly below its total market share
- The logical conclusion that increasing share among heavy users is the most efficient way to grow share
- DEVELOP ICE CREAM'S INTENSIVE “NEED STATES”
- The Jones Grocery corporate strategy of building total share of wallet by increasing marketing pressure on entire “need states”
- The finding that ice cream is a frequently-consumed item at celebratory occasions, such as birthday parties
- The fact that ice cream can drive shoppers to the less frequently-purchased items in the need state, thereby increasing Jones Grocery’s volume and profit
- INCREASE THE OVERALL EFFICIENCY OF THE CATEGORY
- Jones Grocery has more ice cream items and less space than competitors, yet lower volume, suggesting the current assortment is inefficient.
- Fewer of Jones Grocery’s customers are visiting the ice cream aisle, suggesting that existing merchandising efforts in-store, online, and in circulars is not working well.
- The SKU/space ratio issue suggests a higher level of O-O-S (out-of-stocks), especially on heavily-promoted, fast-moving SKUs. This causes inefficiencies across the category.
- DRIVE GROWTH OF THE LACTOSE-FREE SEGMENT
- The Jones Grocery corporate strategy of promoting health and wellness
- The Jones Grocery corporate strategy of promoting transparency
- The assessment finding that lactose-free is a growing segment
- The assessment finding that lactose-free items are underrepresented in the current assortment
Ice cream category score card
The following targets and predictions have been made for the Jones Grocery ice cream category. Overall, the target is to increase the ice cream category share of sales is by 3 points over the year. To achieve this, it is expected that there will be increases in "free-from" product sales, and an increase in health attribute product sales, an increase in aisle traffic and percentage of volume moved due to promotions. It is also expected that there will be an increase in gross margin and ROI, and a doubling in need-state promotion.
Scorecard in an attribute-driven market
The two areas that will drive much of the growth (outside of the increased need state promotion) are the "Free From" category share, and the "Healthy Attribute" item share. Both of these growth strategies require implementation support from high-order attribute data. These are two strategies that are directly impacted by the attribute-driven approach to category management, but there are also indirect influences that have been made clear throughout the process.
To finalize this exploration of an example category management plan for Jones Grocery, we will document the tactical implications of the category review process and the above strategy and scorecard.