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Become A Category Manager

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Working As A Category Manager

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $124,470

    Average Salary

What Does A Category Manager Do

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

Duties

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers typically do the following:

  • Work with department heads or staff to discuss topics such as budgets and contracts, marketing plans, and the selection of advertising media
  • Plan promotional campaigns such as contests, coupons, or giveaways
  • Plan advertising campaigns, including which media to advertise in, such as radio, television, print, online media, and billboards
  • Negotiate advertising contracts
  • Evaluate the look and feel of websites used in campaigns or layouts, which are sketches or plans for an advertisement
  • Initiate market research studies and analyze their findings to understand customer and market opportunities for businesses
  • Develop pricing strategies for products or services marketed to the target customers of a firm
  • Meet with clients to provide marketing or technical advice
  • Direct the hiring of advertising, promotions, and marketing staff and oversee their daily activities

Advertising managers create interest among potential buyers of a product or service. They do this for a department, for an entire organization, or on a project basis (referred to as an account). Advertising managers work in advertising agencies that put together advertising campaigns for clients, in media firms that sell advertising space or time, and in organizations that advertise heavily.

Advertising managers work with sales staff and others to generate ideas for an advertising campaign. They oversee the staff that develops the advertising. They work with the finance department to prepare a budget and cost estimates for the campaign.

Often, advertising managers serve as liaisons between the client and the advertising or promotion agency that develops and places the ads. In larger organizations with extensive advertising departments, different advertising managers may oversee in-house accounts and creative and media services departments.

In addition, some advertising managers specialize in a particular field or type of advertising. For example, media directors determine the way in which an advertising campaign reaches customers. They can use any or all of various media, including radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and outdoor signs. 

Advertising managers known as account executives manage clients’ accounts, but they are not responsible for developing or supervising the creation or presentation of advertising. That task becomes the work of the creative services department.

Promotions managers direct programs that combine advertising with purchasing incentives to increase sales. Often, the programs use direct mail, inserts in newspapers, Internet advertisements, in-store displays, product endorsements, or special events to target customers. Purchasing incentives may include discounts, samples, gifts, rebates, coupons, sweepstakes, or contests.

Marketing managers estimate the demand for products and services that an organization and its competitors offer. They identify potential markets for the organization’s products.

Marketing managers also develop pricing strategies to help organizations maximize their profits and market share while ensuring that the organizations’ customers are satisfied. They work with sales, public relations, and product development staff.

For example, a marketing manager may monitor trends that indicate the need for a new product or service. Then he or she oversees the development of that product or service. For more information on sales or public relations, see the profiles on sales managers, public relations and fundraising managers, public relations specialists, and market research analysts.

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How To Become A Category Manager

A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. These managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales.

Education

A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. For advertising management positions, some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in advertising or journalism. A relevant course of study might include classes in marketing, consumer behavior, market research, sales, communication methods and technology, visual arts, art history, and photography.

Most marketing managers need a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business law, management, economics, finance, computer science, mathematics, and statistics are advantageous. For example, courses in computer science are helpful in developing an approach to maximize online traffic, by utilizing online search results, because maximizing such traffic is critical for digital advertisements and promotions. In addition, completing an internship while in school can be useful.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Advertising, promotional, and marketing managers typically have work experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales. For example, many managers are former sales representatives; buyers or purchasing agents; or public relations specialists.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to analyze industry trends to determine the most promising strategies for their organization. 

Communication skills. Managers must be able to communicate effectively with a broad-based team made up of other managers or staff members during the advertising, promotions, and marketing process. They must also be able to communicate persuasively with the public.

Creativity. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must be able to generate new and imaginative ideas.

Decisionmaking skills. Managers often must choose between competing advertising and marketing strategies put forward by staff.

Interpersonal skills. These managers must deal with a range of people in different roles, both inside and outside the organization.

Organizational skills. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers must manage their time and budget efficiently while directing and motivating staff members.

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Category Manager jobs

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Category Manager Career Paths

Category Manager
Development Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales
Director Of Retail Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Business Developer
Director Of Sales & Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Director Of Sales
Director, National Accounts
12 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager District Manager
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
National Account Manager National Sales Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager Sales And Marketing Manager
International Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director Sales Consultant
Key Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Manager National Account Manager
National Accounts Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Director
10 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Key Account Manager National Account Manager
Regional Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Development Manager Regional Director
Regional Sales Director
10 Yearsyrs
National Account Manager Account Executive
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
National Sales Manager Regional Sales Director
Sales Vice President
9 Yearsyrs
Development Manager Business Development Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Director Of Sales
Senior Vice President, Sales
14 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager Regional Accounts Manager
Territory Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Key Account Manager National Sales Manager
Vice President & Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales Director Of Sales And Operations
Vice President Of Sales & Operations
12 Yearsyrs
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Category Manager Demographics

Gender

Male

53.6%

Female

44.3%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

79.3%

Hispanic or Latino

10.4%

Asian

8.0%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.9%

French

11.0%

Chinese

8.4%

Mandarin

7.1%

Italian

3.9%

Portuguese

3.9%

Romanian

2.6%

Hindi

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Norwegian

1.9%

Russian

1.9%

German

1.9%

Swedish

1.3%

Turkish

1.3%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Cantonese

1.3%

Tagalog

1.3%

Japanese

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Gujarati

0.6%
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Category Manager Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.9%

Michigan State University

8.7%

Arizona State University

6.3%

Western Michigan University

5.5%

Northern Illinois University

5.0%

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

5.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.7%

University of Texas at Austin

3.9%

Cornell University

3.9%

DePaul University

3.9%

Iowa State University

3.9%

Northeastern University

3.9%

Saint Joseph's University

3.7%

Illinois State University

3.4%

Webster University

3.4%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.1%

University of Southern California

3.1%

Texas A&M University

3.1%

Kent State University

3.1%

Florida State University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

40.8%

Marketing

18.3%

Management

7.3%

Finance

4.6%

Communication

4.3%

Psychology

3.0%

Supply Chain Management

2.9%

Accounting

2.5%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

2.2%

Economics

1.8%

Criminal Justice

1.6%

International Business

1.3%

Political Science

1.3%

Sociology

1.3%

Education

1.2%

Public Relations

1.2%

Human Resources Management

1.2%

Graphic Design

1.1%

Biology

1.0%

English

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.3%

Masters

29.7%

Other

13.1%

Associate

4.5%

Certificate

2.3%

Doctorate

0.7%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Category Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Category Manager Salesforce.Com Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 08, 2016 $177,666
Category Manager Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market, Inc. Riverside, CA Sep 06, 2013 $170,000
Global Category Manager-Drilling and Evaluation Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Mar 17, 2016 $169,416 -
$230,000
Global Category Manager-Drilling & Evaluation Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Mar 24, 2014 $156,166 -
$220,000
Procurement Category Manager, Outsourcing Motorola Mobility LLC Sunnyvale, CA Feb 19, 2015 $152,212 -
$198,600
Procurement Category Manager, Outsourcing Motorola Mobility LLC Sunnyvale, CA Feb 22, 2015 $152,212 -
$198,600
Manager, Categories 2 Stubhub, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 14, 2016 $150,000
Category Manager, Technology Salesforce.Com San Francisco, CA Jul 12, 2015 $140,005
Category Manager: Durables Team Affirm, Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 26, 2016 $138,600
Networking Category Manager Wirepath Home Systems, LLC D/B/A Snapav Charlotte, NC Apr 18, 2016 $138,050 -
$145,000
Networking Category Manager Wirepath Home Systems, LLC Charlotte, NC Jun 02, 2016 $138,050 -
$145,000
Networking Category Manager Wirepath Home Systems, LLC D/B/A Snapav Charlotte, NC Jul 22, 2016 $138,050 -
$145,000
Procurement Category Manager, Outsourcing Motorola Mobility LLC Chicago, IL Feb 08, 2014 $117,998 -
$151,300
Category Manager CVS Pharmacy, Inc. Woonsocket, RI Jan 12, 2015 $117,000
Category Manager, Visual Merchandising The Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 26, 2016 $116,979
Global Category Manager Firmenich, Inc. Plainsboro, NJ Sep 12, 2015 $116,412
Category Merchant Manager Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Aug 17, 2016 $115,565 -
$160,000
Category Merchant Manager Amazon Corporate LLC Seattle, WA Nov 17, 2016 $115,565 -
$160,000
Category Manager Sears Holdings Management Corporation Hoffman Estates, IL Sep 08, 2014 $115,000
Category Manager, Electrical & Electronics CFC International Corporation Glenview, IL Oct 31, 2016 $100,568 -
$120,000
Category Manager Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 29, 2013 $100,307
Category Manager, Capex Certainteed Corporation Valley, PA Nov 25, 2013 $100,000 -
$120,000
Category Manager Whirlpool Corporation Benton Harbor, MI Jun 28, 2015 $99,315
Global Sourcing Category Manager FMC Technologies, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 29, 2014 $99,029 -
$159,608
Cross-Division Category Manager, Market Research Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Jan 11, 2015 $98,500
Cross Division Category Manager-Market Research Novartis Services Inc. East Hanover, NJ Apr 01, 2016 $98,500

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Top Skills for A Category Manager

SalesGrowthCategoryStrategySupplierPerformanceCategoryManagementSKUMerchandiseProductLinesIRIBuyersPCustomerServiceNewProductDevelopmentMarketShareCostSavingsBusinessUnitsAnnualSalesBusinessPlansNielsenCategorySalesBeverage

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Top Category Manager Skills

  1. Sales Growth
  2. Category Strategy
  3. Supplier Performance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Tasked with maintaining an aggressive sales growth Plan, I Managed the Perishable Fresh Produce category.
  • Influenced acceptance of Category Strategy document from Business Unit Procurement Leads.
  • Monitored supplier performance and maintained effective communications.
  • Increased share and distribution by working closely with category management.
  • Developed SKU optimization tools to assist in category item selection based on performance and channel information.

Top Category Manager Employers

Category Manager Videos

A Day in the Life of an E-Commerce Manager

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