Be a category analyst or manager

Category management is the primary platform from which CPG brand owners interact with retailers.

It provides the dialogue, process framework and analytics for communicating tactics with retailers.

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Well, here are seven compelling reasons why you might want to be a category manager.

1  Show me the money!

We all want to earn a good living, and category managers can make bank! According to a survey conducted by Pay Scale, category managers can take home up to $124k in the United States. confers, estimating that as of March 2018, the median annual salary is $103,508. Based on data collected from thousands of HR departments at companies, they estimate the salary range to be between $93,296-$114,981.

The average salary for an entry level category analyst is $58,485 per year.

While compensation differs from employer to employer, location and years of experience, the salary offered is certainly a persuasive reason to consider this career option. Whether you are a student or someone looking to make a career shift or pivot.

2  Scarcity is a reality

The stats speak for themselves. At Learning Evolution, we hear over and over again from our clients that there is a supply (and talent) shortage of category analysts and category managers. Our job placement numbers certainly support this premise.

94% of the students that complete our analyst course are employed, with many extending their studies to seek professional accreditation from the Category Management Association .(Check the accredited online courses which we offer).

Of these, 91% are in a position that directly relates to their degree.

3  Working with data makes you smarter

As a category analyst or category manager, data expertise is the key that unlocks the insights required to make better marketing decisions.

Complex data collected on shopper behaviour from a range of different sources such as Nielson, Information Resources Inc. (IRI) SPINS and NPD, need to be translated into meaningful, insight driven information and storytelling.

An analytical approach as well as a love for quantitative data will ensure that this analysis provide the answers to important questions around products, timing, geographies as well as measures.

Developed in collaboration with leading CPG companies, retailers, manufacturers and industry experts, our Certified Professional Category Analyst Program provides the basic foundation level knowledge on the category management process, syndicated scanner data, syndicated panel data and retailer POS data analysis.

Category management process4  Category Management is always evolving …

The world of retail is continuously evolving, with Category Analysts, Category Managers and sales teams needing to be in the know about the latest in cutting-edge technology and innovations.

Shelf solutions with built-in emotional artificial intelligence capabilities, tracking the journey of your shopper using radio-frequency identification (RFID), video and a micro-location capability and understanding the use of beacon technology to learn more about customer behavior – these are just a few of the examples of the world of retail innovation.

Great news for those in supply chain, Learning Evolution is a GS1 US Authorized Education & Training Distributor. We have 6 web-based learning modules for you, check them out!

5  Skills you learn will be put to real use

As we mentioned before, disruption and rapid pace developments within the retail industry are a given and this means that the positions of category analysts and category managers are challenging.

These jobs entail proficiency in the industry, an ability to conduct detailed analysis, reporting and insights on pricing, promotion and assortment. Superior skills in developing spreadsheets and presentations is also prerequisite for this role.

Then come the syndicated scanner data methodologies, consumer panel data applications, retailer point of sale data analysis, space planning software and relational databases … challenges abound.

But don’t be daunted, we have found that those wanting to enter into or grow their CPG career are able to lay the foundation to their success using our Certified Professional Category Analyst Program. They improve their industry knowledge, build a solid foundation of capabilities, as well as understand basic data analysis.

6  Collaborating with the rock stars

The category analyst and category manager get to work with the slick, innovative and creative individuals from brand name companies that make up the sales and marketing teams.

Together you work towards the ultimate goal of understanding points of shopper influence, which, in turn, helps your retail customers. You combine your differing skill sets to make up the dream team; the team that is analytic, imaginative and dynamic.

Accenture research indicates that 8 out of 10 companies are not achieving desired goals, largely because they have not developed an analytical capability to manage the vast quantity of information available.  

Fully two-thirds of US companies surveyed by Accenture acknowledge that they need to improve their analytical capabilities.

Learning Evolution's 7 reasons you wanna be a category analyst or manager7  Work with world-class companies and brands

A schedule that involves a promotions briefing meeting with PepsiCo brand leaders, then a brainstorming session with the key account management team for an upcoming important Walmart positioning presentation.

Perhaps finalizing an assortment analysis report for Nestle’s ecommerce & marketing team … in other words, business as usual for your role as a category analyst or category manager.

Collaborating with people within the most iconic brands is one of the perkiest, perks for sure! Working with brands that have stood the test of time, thriving after a century or more – Nestle has been around for 152 years, Heinz for 149 years, Kroger 135 years … magic!

While tech giants are the current hot ticket items for talented young folks, think of the advantages of building a career with some of the longest running companies in the US.  You become the voice of fresh ideas and innovation, helping these iconic brands to continue building through the next centuries.

So if you’re passionate about marketing and winning in the marketplace, the expertise gained by a category analyst or category manager will ensure you are uniquely qualified for data and technical know-how.


Check out our series of accredited category management training courses or contact us on for more information on how you can arm yourself for success in the exciting world of Category Management.