Insights from the 2020 Category Management Association Conference
At its core, the 2020 CMA conference encouraged being bold and embracing new ways of thinking and acting when it comes to business decision making. The retail industry is changing more quickly than anyone could have imagined-- and more slowly than it will at any point in the future. That fact alone epitomizes the importance of forward thinking and staying nimble in the ever-evolving retail landscape.
As the industry continues to grow and change, it won’t be the big guys eating up the little guys, but the fast and flexible dominating the slow-moving. Along with speed, some other hot-topics at the conference included the importance of trend analysis and the undeniable influence of technology on every aspect of the retail world.
Using Trends to Anticipate Consumer Behavior
Every company knows the importance of having a consistent understanding of the trends impacting their business, but which trends are most important to keep an eye on? The cornerstone, of course, is to analyze sales of your own brands and the categories in which you operate. Understanding the performance of adjacent and competitive categories is also telling, as is an understanding of macro trends like politics, economics, technological innovation and environmental concern, all of which can impact the way consumers are shopping.
Another topic mentioned by a number of CMA attendees and presenters was the need for a comprehensive understanding of consumers, which-- at first thought-- may not seem like a “trend,” but should be looked at as such. Understanding who your buyers are now is important, but understanding who they were a year ago is equally as important, especially if you’re looking to predict who they will be in the future.
Who is buying your brand? Who isn’t buying your brand? How have the demographic and psychographic makeups of these groups changed over time, and where do your greatest opportunities lie? Numerator technology and methodology was founded to answer these questions. Our ability to understand purchase behaviors coupled with demographic and psychographic trend analysis empowers brands to understand the 'why' behind the buy so they can strategically plan for the future.
Technology’s Undeniable Influence
Technology is changing the way people shop, buy and engage with brands and retailers. It’s also changing the way brands and retailers are able to reach their shoppers. Hot topics at CMA included personalization, automation, and the role of robotics and AI in retail or manufacturing. Unilaterally, presenters preached the importance of embracing technology and capitalizing on its potential to drive businesses forward.
Numerator's entire business is built on this principle. From our modern receipt-capture technology to our user friendly interfaces that allow clients to quickly and easily analyze the insights to grow their business, Numerator separates itself from legacy consumer panels that have long remained unchanged.
Fast Paced Decision Making
Companies nowadays need to make decisions quickly and execute faster in order to keep up with the changes in the retail world. For many businesses, change is happening faster outside of the company than it is within. Thinking ahead and accepting new ideas and practices more swiftly is what will set companies apart.
In an industry rooted in the tradition of legacy panels, Numerator breaks the status quo by delivering speed to actionable insights. Which is why our modern consumer panel is being used and celebrated by clients like Kraft Heinz, Clif, Reckitt Benckiser, and Organic Valley, all of whom were excited to share their success stories at CMA of how they were able to grow their brand and retailer relationships in partnership with Numerator.
Overall, CMA 2020 was an action-packed few days of thought leadership and a glimpse into the future of retail. We enjoyed connecting with long-time clients and meeting new faces, all in the hopes of continuing to provide the best insights and experiences to those we work with. Check out some of our favorite pictures from the conference including breakout sessions and the place to be-- the Numerator Booth!