Hello! I am Konstantinos Giamalis. Currently, I work as Chief Product Officer (CPO) at Delivery Hero – Balkans, managing the online platforms of e-food.gr & foody which are popular online food delivery platforms in Greece & Cyprus respectively.
I created this blog, to organize and share my thoughts and learnings about everything that I am interested in. My favorite topics are topics regarding thinking (analytical | critical | creative), productivity and leadership, 100% technology focused. Also, I share reviews about the books I read and other relevant posts regarding Product and Marketing.
Every opinion written in this blog is mine and does not represent the opinion of my employer.
Early days: customedialabs
I started my career in 2013. I was a fresh business administration graduate and I got an opportunity to work remotely as an associate marketing manager for a US-based agency called customedialabs. The job opportunity emerged after the network and skills I acquired from a voluntary program that I launched in the city of Larissa called Prosfero. I will explain more about Prosfero later.
My first hard skills were Google analytics and copywriting. I was lucky enough that my first hard skills are still my favorite ones. I am still using Google analytics in my day-to-day while I develop my copywriting skills as well. Everyone is a copywriter nowadays. The time we spend writing specs, emails, chats and keeping notes is very big so having copywriting skills is a must for everyone.
If you’re a newbie in digital Marketing, here are my recommendations that will help you better uderstand the industry:
This is a blog about Marketing fundamentals and business philosophy. Make sure you join his daily newsletter, it is highly recommended.
THE blog about Google Analytics and analytical thinking. Avinash is a must-read for analysts, marketers and everyone that consider themselves data-driven.
Copywriting is an undervalued skill and those who practice it, have an unfair advantage against other professionals. Micro-articles about copywriting, content marketing and psychology.
The one and only book about Marketing that every Marketing professional should read. In this book written by Seth Godin, you will find everything you need regarding the Marketing landscape in the modern era. Ignore this book at your peril.
in customedialabs, I worked with big clients mostly in the Pharmaceutical industry, providing analytics insights and copywriting services. One of my highlights was an IMA award for a project that I participated in. This was my introduction to the Marketing industry and although I didn’t have the best start, I realized that this industry has all the challenges and opportunities that I am interested in.
Failed business attempt: Chipple
In 2014 three friends of mine and I, founded our own food startup called Chipple. The business concept had 2 parts: The first one was to launch sweet fried apple chips as a healthier alternative to the traditional potato chips industry. The second one was to provide vacuum sealed fresh fruits as a healthy choice, targeting mostly kiosks and school/hospital canteens. I created a realistic business plan and we decided to participate in a big national competition called Re-inspire Greece to get the necessary funding and launch our business.
We managed to get 50K in funding by finishing 3rd in the competition. I am not going to lie, by the time we won, I thought that this is my big chance to succeed. We were a young team with great potential, we had all the money needed and we had established sales channels (provided by a big Greek company) ready to collaborate. Only 6 months later, we quit without even launching our business. We decided as a team that it was too hard to get our products live and we switched back to our 9 to 5 jobs. Although this was a short journey, it helped me understand that starting a business may sound good on paper, but the reality is different. Way much different!
Event management: Startupbus
My next adventure was in the events industry. I was one of the national producers of the Greek team in the biggest European international competition for startups in Vienna, called StartupBus.
During this competition, 5 Greek teams of young tech professionals tried to launch a software service within 72 hours and compete with teams from 6 European countries for the big prize which was to participate in an incubator in San Francisco. The competition took place in Vienna and we traveled through 8 countries by bus in one week. Regarding the final outcome, I think that we did a good job since a Greek team won the big prize!
Another failed business attempt: Syndesis
My last attempt in Larissa was a business idea focusing on education. As a youngster, one of my main problems was that I was not sure which profession I should follow, that’s why I chose to study Business Administration, a degree that has a broad scope and can be applied in many industries and businesses.
The idea was simple: Syndesis was a service that allowed you to perform a job orientation test in order to identify the most suitable profession for you. By the time we found out the ideal job for you, we booked a couple of interviews with experts in your desired field that would help you understand the real struggles and opportunities of the job. For example, if you would like to become a lawyer, we would book 2 interviews with lawyers where you could discuss everything you wanted to know about the law and their day-to-day schedule.
We secured a small amount of funding in order to start and although we gained some traction we never managed to achieve the right product-market fit. Eventually, I quitted after 6 months. The business continued for a year or more but since there was no product-market fit, it closed down.
Moving forward: efood Marketing
In 2015, I moved to Athens and to the efood Marketing department. There were 6 of us in this department and my main focus was to maximize marketing performance using digital marketing channels enriched by analytics insights. I started focusing on pull marketing channels (Facebook | GDN | Mobile networks etc.) but soon I had to create holistic strategies that applied to every digital channel, even to the ones that are not performance oriented. One of our highlights was our YouTube strategy since we were one of the first brands that used videos for awareness and performance purposes. Our approach was published in Think with Google and it was the first Greek case study ever.
A year later, I was promoted to head of performance Marketing managing millions of euros in budget and a great team of highly skilled professionals. This was my first introduction to people management where besides achieving aggressive business goals, you need to support and direct your team towards excellence.
being a good manager is an ongoing process and requires continuous optimization. I consider myself as a servant-leader, I hate micro-maagement and I always try to support my team in order to thrive. I know that it sounds as a cliche, but I truly believe in the management schema. Here are three books that influenced my managing style the most:
This book helped me understand that we need to set principles across the team and follow them, while we should systemize our delivery and collaboration process to maximize our efficiency.
No one is irreplaceable, but you can be indispensable. Mr. Godin provides tips on how to drive your career and create a remarkable future.
This classic book is very good for everyone running a business or a team. By reading this you will realize that in order to solve hard problems you need to make hard decisions.
One of my managerial highlights was the establishment of an Agile framework across the Marketing department. We started using Scrum back in 2015 but eventually, our team grew big so we needed to adapt to our new challenges. Our new framework is based on Scrum, Kanban, Scrum Nexus and Waterfall methods and it is called Nero for the Greek word “νερό”. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll publish the book we wrote about Nero and the way we developed it.
Nowadays: efood Product team
Currently, I lead the Product team. In 2017 I moved to Product to revamp the team. We started as a team of 3 people (Product manager, Product owner and Product designer) and within 3 years we managed to transform this small team into a modern full-stack Product team that consists of Product managers, Product owners, Product analysts, Product designers and data engineers. We manage end-to-end platforms from backend to apps and web, across 2 countries achieving multi-million conversions with competitive conversion rates and top-notch user and restaurant experience.
Moving to Product was one of the best decisions I have made so far. The Product department has a very broad scope of multiple initiatives that are running simultaneously across the company. Especially in our industry, working in Product means that you should understand every aspect of the business from Marketing, to Sales and Operations and prioritize the implementation roadmap accordingly to maximize business value. In 2020 I was promoted to C-level, as Chief Product Officer focusing on Product strategy and research about new features that will solve our users and restaurants’ needs.
Here are some useful resources for those who are working in Product management:
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A weekly advice column about product, growth, working with humans and anything else that’s stressing you out at the office.
Detailed essays on growth and user acquisition that have been featured in Forbes and will help you build a growth machine.
In my free time, I am a Product & Marketing advisor in a couple of next-generation startups and projects that I truly believe their importance and the value they provide to their customers.
Timezok: Meeting analytics SaaS
Timezok is a side project that I developed along with Paris Kasidiaris. We created Timezok so that everyone can check how many hours she spends on meetings. Meetings are a painful unavoidable habit in most of the companies worldwide. But really, do you know how many hours do you spend every week on meetings? Do you know how much they cost to your company? Find it out, along with other important metrics for free by joining Timezok (currently in beta version).
Proper: Proptech SaaS
Proper.gr (currently in Beta) is a SaaS focused on apartment building management. WIth proper.gr you can pay your apartment’s shared expenses (κοινόχρηστα έξοδα) online. Also you can take decisions regarding building services by voting online. Last but not least, you can book services for your apartment 100% online.
instacar: Car subscription SaaS
instacar provides a flexible way to lease your car with a monthly subscription, without fixed contracts and strict bureaucratic acceptance criteria. It’s the only SaaS in Greece that has online booking flow allowing users to lease cars 24/7.
I occasionally share stories and knowledge as a public speaker in conferences and other events such as TEDx and Product Marketing meetups.
An Unusual Story of Impel (Greek language) | TEDxUniversity of Thessaly
Things I wish I knew before entering Product Marketing (Greek language) | ThinkBiz
Live talk regarding Product Management (Greek language) | MikriKouventa
Product fireside chat (Greek language) | Product community Greece
Growth Hacking is the new Marketing (Greek language) | TEDxUniversity of Macedonia
Last but not least, I am an active volunteer. My biggest initiative so far is Prosfero. It started as a local initiative in the city of Larisa where we collected about 2 tons of unused food per month and contributed to social meals that supported poor people. After I moved to Athens it became a platform-aggregator that promotes social organizations across Greece. Prosfero was awarded as one of the most innovative social programs in 2013 from the Angelopoulos Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative University in St. Louis, US.
Recently, in the CoVid-19 era, we worked together with the Hellenic Anti-cancer Organization in order to create campaigns that support people in need. The concept called ThatFeeling and it was about collaboration with Greek influencers in order to create unique experiences where users could buy lottery tickets. By the time a contest ends, we randomly pick a winner who wins the experience. We created 10 campaigns with popular influencers and we raised a significant amount of money to buy masks and medical equipment.
If you made it so far, congratulations, you learned almost everything regarding me and my professional journey. If you want to keep in touch you can subscribe to my newsletter (I won’t spam you) or you can send me an email in my personal email [firstname.lastname@example.org].
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