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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 with over 15 years of experience running successful and profitable software products. 

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Key Takeaways

  • Content Generation: Essential for e-commerce growth; control assets on all platforms.
  • Visual Quality: High-quality visuals significantly impact customer attraction and retention.
  • Customer Retention: Strong strategy and multi-channel communication are crucial.
  • Growth Hacking: Integrates advanced tech and holistic marketing, beyond traditional digital marketing.
  • Machine Learning: Vital for success; aids in customer segmentation and personalized communication.

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 immediately 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, and BoD member, and the success of the 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 “semantic”, a product on marketing automation that very quickly found traction in important markets in Europe. Furthermore, he is very experienced in investor-related issues, team formation, and 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

A futuristic digital network with interconnected nodes and icons representing various technologies and data points.

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 were the first pillars of 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, a revolutionary template-based viral & referral marketing solution for modern marketers appeared.

Success is the best measure of any team’s work and an undeniable proof of 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 leap 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.

Embracing Failure and Innovation

Infographic illustrating reasons for failure to innovate, including fear of taking risks, lack of market orientation, failure to scale, poor organizational structure, wrong decisions, lack of internal communications, and low priority for innovation.

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 built 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 the 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 to 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

Venn diagram illustrating growth marketing at the intersection of creative content, viral product, and marketing automation.

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, 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 to ensure constant growth is to start generating content.

Blog production and video blogging are the first to put 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, to control the stream of sales, the entrepreneur must create and control their assets on all sales platforms available.

Strategic Growth Tactics

Infographic showing various growth strategies, including viral loops, in-person outreach, market penetration, market development, product development, zig-zag, word-of-mouth, and milestone referrals.

The second piece of advice touches on 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 piece of advice Theodore is giving to eCommerce entrepreneurs is not to focus 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

Illustration of a person using a magnet to attract customers, symbolizing customer retention, with stacks of coins representing revenue.

Building a customer retention strategy should be first developed, in Theodore Moulos’s 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 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 communication 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 have the potential to become the best ambassadors so in any communication with 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-degree integration of processes of progressive profiling, bridging the digital with the physical world, marketing auditing, and 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’s 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 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.

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 losing sales as an immediate consequence.

Conclusion

It’s mind-blowing how growth hacking appears to be a seamless blend of data, art, and science, which allows e-commerce entrepreneurs to tap into and resonate with their respective markets.

We hope you enjoyed our video interview with Theodore Moulos!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can small eCommerce businesses start with content generation if they have limited resources?

Small eCommerce businesses can start with content generation by focusing on high-impact, low-cost strategies such as blogging and video blogging. Utilizing free or affordable content creation tools and platforms, and repurposing existing content can also be effective. Additionally, leveraging user-generated content and engaging with customers on social media can help build a robust content library without significant investment.

What are some effective ways to measure the success of a growth hacking strategy?

Success in growth hacking can be measured through key performance indicators (KPIs) such as user acquisition rates, conversion rates, customer lifetime value (CLV), and engagement metrics. Tracking metrics like website traffic, social media engagement, email open rates, and A/B testing results can provide insights into the effectiveness of various tactics. Regularly reviewing and adjusting strategies based on these metrics is crucial for continuous improvement.

What role does SEO play in growth hacking, and how can it be integrated into an overall strategy?

SEO is a critical component of growth hacking as it helps increase organic visibility and drive traffic to digital assets. Integrating SEO into a growth hacking strategy involves optimizing website content for relevant keywords, improving site structure, and ensuring a seamless user experience. 

Additionally, creating high-quality, shareable content and building authoritative backlinks can enhance SEO efforts. Regularly updating and refining SEO tactics based on search engine algorithm changes and performance data is also essential.