In this week’s episode of Growth Interviews, we invite you to join our podcast conversation with Theodore Moulos, group CEO of Growthrocks and Viral-Loops and has over 15 years of experience in running successful and profitable software products.
Welcome to Growth Interviews!
Welcome to Growth Interviews, the fun, stimulating and engaging series of conversations driven by digital business growth.
Our mission is to provide insights and ideas from world-class professionals on the topic of growth and to cut through the noise of so-called marketing tips and tricks, revealing the money-making strategies behind e-commerce.
Each episode is an intriguing challenge involving an insightful expert who reveals some of their best-kept secrets, which you can use right away to boost your business.
Our Interview it’s an exciting road in the world of digital marketing, software development for business growth, customer retention and machine learning with many valuable takeaways and tactics just ready to be implemented.
Before turning totally into growth-hacking and viral marketing, Theodore Moulos was an international marketing leader who had various positions like COO, CEO, BoD member and the success of Pinnatta mobile app with 1.5 million downloads is just one vivid example of his outstanding capabilities and leadership.
During his free time, Theodore coaches and consults startups. His career includes managerial posts for companies both in Greece and abroad and he has significant skills in intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship.
One of his major career achievements was creating “i-docs” an international product in Customer Communication Management and “segmatiX”, a product on marketing automation which very quickly found traction in important markets in Europe. Furthermore, he is very experienced on investors’ related issues, team formation, team management. He has also broad experience in enterprise applications like ERP, CRM etc and delivering complex projects in large organizations.
Let’s hear him out!
The Fascination of the Digital World
Digital marketing is an interesting discipline where marketers get to wear not only the hat of a salesperson but also that of a psychologist. When mixing with a passion for computer science and digital transformation, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities and so it was for Theodore Moulos. Psychology and accounting have been the first pillars in Theodore’s career, which gave him an extraordinary perspective both on human behavior and business growth.
The urge and desire to grow faster and bring more to the world is a strong motivator that many successful digital entrepreneurs have and Theodore was no exception. His passion for computer science transformed his perspective, gave him a new vision, and everything he knew he put to work in the direction of building digital products. This is how Viral Loops, an absolute revolutionary template-based viral & referral marketing solution for modern marketers appeared.
Success is the best measure for any team’s work and an undeniable proof for the vision and strategy of any entrepreneur and so it was for Theodore Moulos with i-Docs, Pinnata, Viral Loops and many others. Great digital marketing skills together with an incredible dev team and economic growth experience were for Theodore and his team, the ingredients for taking everything to a new level and take the leap of transformation from a digital company to groundbreaking growth hackers.
The Rhythm of Growth in Growth Hacking
Real talent, skills and dedication are the most important traits when looking to increase a team. In growth hacking, it is not only that. Entrepreneurial, intrapreneurial and real experience in developing new digital products and resilience to failure are the most sought after characteristics and most important is knowing how to fail.
Failure is often seen as a dead-end road, where nothing can be done but in growth hacking, there is the confirmation that there must be other ways of solving a situation or developing a tool or program that have not revealed themselves yet and the whole team has to rewire and start again. Growth hacking is a land of pioneers with no roads yet build and failure is the definition of “it will work in another way, we have to keep searching”.
Growth hacking is not just a complex and dynamic business, it is a mindset and that is something Theodore Moulos focused on teaching his future colleagues. The employee mentality of everyone working in a net where co-dependence dissolves personal responsibility and autonomy is a phenomenon that harshly affects a growth hacking business with the effect of slowing it down, which is the opposite of what growth hacking philosophy stands for: speed of innovation, testing and implementation.
The most important qualities of a future growth hacker, in the eyes of Theodore Moulos, are the drive for collaboration, the intrinsic dedication for the perpetual state of creating together, of bringing innovation to the service of the community.
The potential for growth in the fast-paced digital era that we live in is surpassing a few times the human talent now available for becoming real growth hackers but, according to Theodore, it is more important to have a prepared team than going fast.
Growth Ideas from a Growth Hacker
Viral Loops is a SaaS that started from a passion project to a full company with incredible success in Europe and the USA. In our interview, Theodore recognizes that building a company from a passion project is very difficult but with great rewards and satisfaction. Together with great effort and success comes a lot of practical knowledge and wisdom which Theodore Moulos shared as three main advice to take away.
First is that if the only property you have is your e-shop, then you have no other alternative than growing via performance marketing. For healthy growth, any eCommerce entrepreneur needs more assets, more digital properties and more owned media. The immediate tactic to take in order to ensure constant growth is to start generating content.
Blog production, video blogging are the first to pun on a content development plan. Also, getting into channels that generate leads and getting on sales platforms like Instagram or WhatsApp or taking on conversation marketing through instant messaging platforms, is, in Theodore Moulos’ opinion, one of the best marketing tactics.
The new trend given by companies that registered huge success in recent years is that an online store is not among the most important assets a business has as the main sales channel, anymore. The evolution and the new capabilities of the social media platforms in ensuring a complete and seamless buying process are taking over so, in order to control the stream of sales, the entrepreneur must create and control their assets on all sales platforms available.
The second piece of advice is touching the most urgent matter for eCommerce players and how they create their USP and unique differentiators. One of the most important aspects is the way customers perceive the online store and the way the products are visually presented. High-quality visuals are almost anytime the dealbreaker in the eyes of a potential customer. High-quality imagery, presented in an organized and harmonic way creates an undeniable appeal for a visitor to look for more, to explore more of what the online store is offering and ultimately to start a purchase. Denying the influence of high-quality visuals is like opening a store and shutting down the lights.
The third advice Theodore is giving to eCommerce entrepreneurs is not focusing on relying so much on the price comparison platforms and paying so much more attention to the value that they could bring. Focusing on the quality of their website, from grid building to quality visuals, frictionless buying process and SEO, with a special interest in visually emphasizing the differentiating points, so the organic aspect of higher ranking will always help an eCommerce become more visible in Google search.
A Fresh Perspective on Customer Retention
Building a customer retention strategy should be first developed, in Theodore Moulos opinion. Without a proper strategy anyone could lose both customers and money. Second to a good strategy for the customers to come back, entrepreneurs should focus on building or acquiring the necessary platforms that will be the very hammer and needle of their daily actions towards their customers. Entrepreneurs need to make sure that the customers will be monitored and segmented based on: what they purchase from their online store, who they are, and so on and also that all the data for a smooth communication is properly gathered, from their emails to their social media profiles.
One of the most important tactics in customer retention is having all the elements that will allow communicating with customers via different channels, which are the most comfortable for them.
A second important tactic for successful customer retention is the analysis of the data and the behavior of the customers where the most valuable customers are defined, where the most important pool of clients becomes definite and with that the communication strategy. The best customers are not only the most valuable but are having the potential to become the best ambassadors so in any communication towards them a special interest must be considered, at all times.
The Difference Between Digital Marketing and Growth Hacking
Growth hacking is not just another hype definition for digital marketing as many are inclined to believe.
The most important difference is the 360 degrees integration of processes of progressive profiling, bridging the digital with the physical world, marketing auditing, technological developments for the employment of conversational marketing and sales-driven marketing. These are just a few examples that Theodore is giving in the interview.
The most important differentiating factor between the two is a holistic experience of marketing and technological capabilities and development possibilities for innovation. For Theodore, the difference is that ‘if you put all the theory of marketing, you put a lot of technology on it and you put as well as 360 degrees of expertise, so being quite wide in knowing stuff, that is something that is moving you from the digital marketing arena into growth hacking arena.’
Machine Learning and the Future of Digital Players
“You will be able to sell your products without anyone visiting your website and that means a lot’ is Theodore first take on how machine learning will influence the future of eCommerce and this is an important red flag. The adoption of machine learning is very present in the last changes the big platforms like Facebook and Google are constantly doing. Any entrepreneur should keep up so Theodore recommends following the giants’ latest announcements and implementing in their online stores and owned media channels everything that is necessary to stay relevant for their algorithms. Adapt first will become one ingredient for future success as machine learning and AI technologies will become more present in an increasing number of tools and media platforms.
In order to increase conversion, behavioral data should be seriously considered. Based on how a customer is going down the funnel, they should see a different type of communication and advertising according to their profile and interest. This type of segmentation is already present in specific segmentation tools using machine learning. Not using or developing these tools that will intelligently and perpetually send the right communication to the customers puts any entrepreneur in danger of not delivering what is relevant to the customers and lose sales as an immediate consequence.
It’s mind-blowing how growth hacking appears to be a seamless blend of data, art, and science, which gives eCommerce entrepreneurs the opportunity to tap into and resonate with their respective market.
We hope you enjoyed our video interview with Theodore Moulos!
How did you find this experience? Was it insightful?
Spread the knowledge! ⤵️