Today on the Lempert Report, supermarket industry analyst Phil Lempert discusses the evolution of Category Management and how it may well be on the path to true consumer centricity. The Lempert Report is a three times a week, 5-minute marketing analysis on issues and trends and their impact on the food and retail environments. During this installment, Lempert reports on a Kantar Retail survey on Category Management benchmarks and best practices. Not surprisingly, there is a huge at-retail merchandising and marketing element to the story.
Here are a few of the key points of the survey that Lempert focuses on: Manufacturers and retailers that integrate the disciplines of Shopper Insights and Shopper Marketing are in a position to become category leaders. Eighty-one percent (81%) of manufacturers surveyed regard Category Management as very or extremely important. The top Category Management activity as rated by 88 percent of the participating manufacturers is Consumer/Shopper Insight. The top activity for 71 percent of the participating retailers was Execution Capability. The second rated activity for both is the Ability to Listen.
This data provides the members of NARMS with an exciting opportunity to be of even greater service to the retail industry. Many members have already invested significant amounts of time and money on data gathering and reporting capabilities at shelf-level. Trading partners can easily use these companies and leverage that capability to augment their insight into the mind of the consumer. The fact that retailers are still worried about the execution phase of Category Management is proof positive that a great need exists for our services and that a service gap still exists in order to fully realize successful Category Management initiatives.
There are plenty of good reasons to hire a member of NARMS to execute at-retail. The mission for all of us is to make sure that manufacturers and retailers are listening to what their own research is telling them.