We talked to Pavlos Filippidis about how Lab3Web is a digital marketing agency and this is what he had to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Pavlos Filippidis: We are all in this together and, thankfully, all in good health, which matters the most at these difficult and challenging times. Here in Greece, we are currently on a second national lockdown until January, and this second wave feels more aggressive in terms of infections. But we will all get through this; it will pass. I am hopeful that things can only get better in 2021.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Lab3Web?
Pavlos Filippidis: On a personal note, well, I live on coffee. I am an old school fan of Star Wars and an avid food lover, cannot live without music, and of course, a passionate traveler, well not anymore for the time being. On a more serious note, I studied Economics at Birmingham City University in the UK, and immediately after graduation, I got a job in commercial banking. Soon I realized that it wasn’t for me, so I got into sales and Marketing, which I loved. But I had to challenge myself even further, so I made a career shift into a more analytical role and quickly jumped into investment banking. Somewhere between my early career mood swings, I also competed an MSc in E-commerce back in the long 2000. I was also fortunate enough to work with big global household names and big players in their market segments, which helped me acquire precious experience. At some point, I felt ready to do what I was always preparing myself for, to become an entrepreneur. After spending almost 15 years mostly in England and other parts of Europe, like another Ulysses, I found my way back to my Ithaca – Corfu, Greece, that is – and created a boutique business consultancy. In 2015, out of the blue, I met Nikos and Makis – the other two former co-founders of Lab3Web, and after a few beers and tapas, we formed a little creative force then and an award-winning agency today, and we called it Lab3Web.
How does Lab3Web innovate?
Pavlos Filippidis: We have a little motto at Lab3Web; we never stop trying and learning! We always try to be aligned with fresh digital trends and focus on our client’s needs. Being client-centric also helps us be creative since we study our clients and their competition thoroughly, enabling us to see opportunities before they even arise. In many cases, innovation is about trying and doing new things, and here at Lab3Web, we are continually using our creativity and imagination for innovating. We live in a time when digital marketing moves fast and consumer interests and behaviors even faster, and that makes it hard to predict, especially with the pandemic. As marketers, we can no longer stick our heads in the sand and hope that educated guesses and the same old methods will work forever. If any business intends to remain competitive in today’s online landscape, they must adapt to the rapidly evolving digital world changes and hence adjust their marketing strategies.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Pavlos Filippidis: As a small-sized digital agency, we could be more flexible than others. We remain less affected by the pandemic and any subsequent economic shocks that come from it. Each day that passes, we realize how fortunate we are because, in Greece and most parts of the world, many people had to close their businesses (restaurants, hotels, small and big stores, etc.). In general, we lost some, and we won more. Indeed some projects have been delayed, but others came forward. Our customer-focused business model also helped us with the pandemic. It was test-driven with smaller scale shocks before, we invest in our client relationships, and the pandemic certainly brought us even closer to them; we are a friendly team.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Pavlos Filippidis: Life was and will always be made of difficult choices, especially even more as an entrepreneur, and the pandemic didn’t change the game. Making difficult choices for me can be a slow embracing process because I see them as life experiences. But yes, because of the pandemic, we had to make difficult decisions, but sometimes the most challenging thing and the right thing are the same. As an individual, I seek learning, and I believe that life teaches us repeatedly lessons, this year one thing that life taught me is the appreciation of time; time passes quickly, and it doesn’t come back.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Pavlos Filippidis: Stress and anxiety do affect me if I don’t experience them in excess. They push me to make the necessary changes in my life and business. I use them as signals, and although sometimes they are heavy to manage, they inspire me to take action. This way, for me, feeling a bit of stress and anxiety is healthy and necessary, keeping me on my toes. But I am also a human being, which means that I may not be the best version of myself, those days I turn to my friends and family, music, nature, cooking, cycling, etc. and those remedies always do the trick for me!
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Pavlos Filippidis: We are in a very competitive landscape, but not in war with anyone, and most certainly not in a winner takes all business! We embrace and respect the competition and see it as a healthy motivation; we continuously learn from it. We plan to be in the game to stay in the game. We are hustlers. We work hard and always looking to improve; we are also agile and passionate about what we do; we work to become, not to acquire.
Your final thoughts?
Pavlos Filippidis: I see this pandemic as a stern reminder of the choice of priorities in our societies. Be a giver, be kind, stay humble, and remember that positivity wins.