IRI: CATEGORY MANAGEMENT KEY TO ECR

ORLANDO, Fla. -- You can't get the benefits of Efficient Consumer Response if you don't practice category management.That's a message from George Garrick, president of Information Resources Inc., Chicago."Category management is at the core of ECR. It is clearly critical to you, whether you are a retailer, a manufacturer or a broker," said Garrick, speaking here at the 10th annual AUGI conference sponsored

ORLANDO, Fla. -- You can't get the benefits of Efficient Consumer Response if you don't practice category management.

That's a message from George Garrick, president of Information Resources Inc., Chicago.

"Category management is at the core of ECR. It is clearly critical to you, whether you are a retailer, a manufacturer or a broker," said Garrick, speaking here at the 10th annual AUGI conference sponsored by IRI.

He likened the evolution of trade relations to a pyramid. Here are the parts, from the base to the peak, along with the percent of each activity today:

Relationships and Deal Selling -- "The sale was basically a function of establishing relationships with customers," he said. 10% to 15%.

Fact-Based Selling -- "We still did relationships and deal selling, but we introduced facts to make your arguments. So you go in and talk about how your promotion generates more lift than your competitors' promotion." 35% to 40%

Category-Focused Selling -- You continue to use facts, but now you use them to convey a message about the category. So rather than talking about your promotion generating more lift than another promotion, you talk about your promotion generating category lift." 35% to 40%

Full Category Management -- This is the top of the pyramid, Garrick said. 10% to 15%.

"Companies today fall across the whole spectrum," he said.