Profile: Matthew Taylor, Director, E-Commerce & Digitally Native Brands, Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.
When Scotts Miracle-Gro started a new e-commerce business unit almost two years ago, Matthew Taylor took notice. He was immediately interested after hearing department head Patti Ziegler, the chief marketing services and digital officer, share her vision of utilizing the team to create new growth capabilities for the future of the company. The skills he developed from working at online startups earlier in his career along with eight years of traditional brand management at Scotts made moving to the unit a good fit.
What are your main job responsibilities?
TAYLOR: My team has three main responsibilities. First we have a digitally native brand team that is responsible for developing and growing emerging digital brands like our Lunarly and Knock Knock subscription businesses. Second, we are tasked with growing our partnerships with e-commerce retailers like Amazon, West Elm and eBay to name a few. Third, we support our core customers – Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart – in creating a more seamless omnichannel experience as well as helping them grow their lawn and garden category.
How does your organization promote digital innovation?
TAYLOR: One of our core focuses is to develop innovation that helps consumers and drives incremental growth for Scotts Miracle-Gro. That includes entering new categories, attracting new consumers or gaining distribution in new channels.
What digital devices and services do you use most often, and how much of an omnichannel shopper are you?
TAYLOR: I switched over to a Google Pixelbook recently at work and it has been great. Due to the nature of my position, I am rarely ever at my desk. Not having to juggle a tablet, a laptop and a notebook has made being on the go much easier. Also, my family includes three little kids at home and they are now all involved in various sports and activities. Therefore we do most of our shopping online or using in-store pickup due to a lack of time on the weekends. However, I do still enjoy browsing in a store when I have time.
How can all brands take better advantage of the opportunities in e-commerce?
TAYLOR: One of the things that we did when we created our new department was look at the barriers the traditional business model created for us. Then we started to explore all the ways in which we could use e-commerce to remove those barriers for both our company and our category to unlock growth. I think that is a worthwhile exercise for every organization.
Where do you see e-commerce headed in the next few years?
TAYLOR: It feels like many retailers and organizations are playing catch-up right now to get a base e-commerce infrastructure in place. I think that you’ll start to see more retailers and brands focused on creating unique value on their e-commerce platforms so everything does not become so commoditized. Nike is a great example of a brand that does this today, in my opinion.
TAYLOR: One example of our department doing something novel is the launch of our Lunarly brand. Lunarly is a nature-inspired monthly self-care subscription powered by each new moon cycle that has allowed us to serve a completely different consumer base. We developed this new brand in coordination with BuzzFeed and launched it within six months of its concept inception. The business now has more than 70,000 Instagram followers and is beating all of the benchmarks we set out for it one year after launch.