What does a Category Manager do?

Learn all about Category Manager duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Category Manager.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A Category Manager is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of all aspects of a product category within a company. This includes working with cross-functional teams to develop category plans, managing suppliers, and driving sales and profitability. The Category Manager must have a deep understanding of the market, the competition, and the consumer in order to make recommendations that will grow the business.

Category Manager job duties include:

  • Developing and implementing category plans that support the overall strategy for the business
  • Conducting regular reviews of category performance and share findings/recommendations with senior management
  • Leading and managing cross-functional teams in the development and execution of category initiatives
  • Managing supplier relationships within assigned categories to drive optimal results
  • Analyzing customer buying patterns and trends to identify opportunities for growth
  • Negotiating pricing, terms, and conditions with suppliers
  • Developing promotional plans and strategies that drive category sales
  • Managing inventory levels to ensure optimal stock availability
  • Monitoring competitor activity and benchmarking against best-in-class companies

Category Manager Job Requirements

There are no specific education requirements for becoming a category manager, although most employers prefer candidates with at least a bachelor's degree. There are also no specific certification or experience requirements, although most employers prefer candidates with at least three years of experience working in retail or a related field. Category managers typically have strong analytical and interpersonal skills, as well as experience working with data and developing marketing plans.

Category Manager Skills

  • Strategic thinker
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to multitask
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Creative problem solver
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Team player

Related: Top Category Manager Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Category Manager

A Category Manager is a professional who is responsible for the strategic planning, development, and execution of marketing plans for a specific product category. In order to become a Category Manager, one must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or a related field. Additionally, it is beneficial to have experience working in sales, marketing, or product management. Category Managers typically work in corporate settings for large companies. Some may also work for consulting firms that specialize in helping companies with their product categories.

The role of a Category Manager is to develop and execute marketing plans that will grow the sales and market share of the products within their assigned category. They are responsible for conducting market research, analyzing data, and developing strategies to increase brand awareness and product demand. Additionally, they work closely with other departments within the company, such as sales, operations, and finance, to ensure that the products are meeting customer needs and generating profitability.

Category Managers must be excellent communicators and have strong analytical skills. They must be able to think strategically and be creative in their approach to problem-solving. They must also be able to work independently and be self-motivated. If you possess these skills and attributes and are interested in a career in marketing, then becoming a Category Manager may be the right path for you!

Related: Category Manager Resume Example

Related: Category Manager Interview Questions (With Example Answers)