19 July 2016


ZSEM – Business Academy on September 16th, 2016 organizes a seminar on topic “Selling to Retail and Category Management” leading by Bob Polich.


Retail is ever changing; it’s like a moving target. What worked yesterday won’t necessarily work today. And customer are smarter too: they are more educated; they are reading packaging; they are mindful of their choices and are responsive to certain stimuli, while unresponsive to others. And then there’s something called ‘the internet’ that offers online shopping, in competition with retail stores.

Is retail still a viable source for the selling and buying of goods and services? Definitely yes. Customers still want to see and feel a product; they want personalized service available from retailers that online purchasing does not afford, and many customers visit stores solely because of the ‘shopping experience’.

But not every retailer is the same. One wants to offer the lowest prices, another wants to be the first to carry the newest products, another wants to be perceived as a premium outlet to its customers, and another specializes in close-out merchandise. First you must identify and know your retailer: operating policies, business model, distribution, merchandising, pricing, and promotion philosophies. Does your product/service align with their strategies? You must understand the retailer channel, the customers (shopper demographics), and the competition too.

In this seminar we will address all these important concerns. We will look at different retailers to understand how they attract customers, and what their most preferred methods of merchandising and promoting are. We will review numerous examples of products to determine their success on shelf and get a ‘feel’ for ways to improve future ‘like-product’ introductions.

In CATEGORY MANAGEMENT what are the steps in launching a new product/service? What must be considered when planning to place a new product on the retailer shelf? We will look at product niche, timing, competition, shelf placement, sampling, marketing message, replenishment and promotion. What kind of marketing plan and message track will be supporting the new product? What is the various ways to get the ‘message’ out?

What is needed to consider if the product takes off faster than expected? How do you catch the shopper eye at retail during launch with so many products already out there? Where do 3rd parties come in and how effective can they be versus using a company’s own merchandising/sales force to sell the product?

What about the aisle in the store where the product is merchandised and soled? Can you do ANYTHING to help educate the customer, encourage them shopping longer, and maybe increase the number of products they purchase? We will talk about this too.


-Understand the many facets of retail, be prepared to analyze and address numerous conditions and opportunities, and easily evaluate most effective and efficient actions to grow the retailer’s business.

-Review a product launch plan to understand the needed steps and ensure all aspects of a product introduction are being looked at.

-Appreciate the work that goes into supporting a product introduction at retail; backing up the ‘big news’ with a complete program to keep customers excited about the new product, at launch, and all through the introductory period.


-Any individual who sells to retail, or is interested in doing so, and wants to become more effective.

-Any individual working in the category management role, responsible in developing/launching/executing a new product.


-Case study and discussion. Sharing of actual business examples and practices facilitator was engaged in.


Bob Polich is 100% of Croatian descent, both sets of grandparents were born in Dalmacia. Bob graduated with a BS in Marketing, Oregon State University, USA.

34 years Procter & Gamble:

  • Category Customer Business Manager Gillette (5 years): Responsibilities included  North American Product Launches, Retail Expert, Charting Consumer Behavior, Managing 3rd Party National Merchandising/Sales Teams, Developing National Merchandising Retail Coverage Plans, Project Manager, Counterfeit and Theft Detection.
  • Retail Execution Sales Manager (2 years) Trained and developed 16 direct reports who managed 300 part-time retail merchandisers in 15 Western states. Served as execution linkage to top retailers, and developed optimum tailored execution plans for launches, category shelf resets, and effective utilization of in-store labor resources. Increased sales by delivering quality in-store full department resets, securing category and new item cut-ins, display activity, timely and cost-effective account coverage plans.
  • Regional Sales Manager (7 years) Charged with growing cosmetic and beauty care product sales in top customers through shelf executions in 13 states, encompassing 10,000 retail locations with a sales delivery team of 13 managers, including 200 part-time sales representatives.
  • International Broker Sales Manager (15 years): Guam, Philippines, Okinawa, Japan, Korea Directed Pacific Rim and US broker sales force of 50 reps
  • Key Account Manager (5 years): Direct and Indirect Selling at Multiple Channel Retail Accounts and Headquarter Buying Offices


The program fee is 1.800,00 kn + PDV. The fee includes tuition, instructional materials, literature, lunch and reception. Number of seats on the seminar is limited. The deadline for registering is September 5th, 2016.