The Marketing Parthenon Principle – And why you need it in your arsenal

Many small business owners made the fatal mistake of relying solely on direct sales and referral marketing to attain clients and gain revenue.

But what happens when direct sales dwindle?

What happens when referrals become less effective?  

The business model starts to fail, your revenue falls and you start to lose market share. Before you know it, you’re in deep waters!

In today’s fast-paced, dynamic world, where industries are being disrupted and platforms can be rendered ineffective at a moment’s notice – so how can you keep your business robust?

The idea was first brought up by Jay Abraham. The key is to build a Greek Parthenon type of business – based on a strong foundation of revenue streams. Attack your market from multiple positions to remain relevant.

The Diving Board Philosophy vs. The Parthenon Philosophy

Let’s start with definitions.

  • The Diving Board Philosophy is defined as relying on one revenue stream or marketing pillar to grow and sustain (e.g. direct sales).
  • The Parthenon Philosophy is building your business on an array of strong pillars or marketing profit streams (e.g. direct sales + referral system + joint ventures + email marketing + advertising + podcasting + telemarketing + host/beneficiary relationships)

No prizes for guessing which one is more stable!

Revenue Parthenon
Revenue Parthenon
Revenue Parthenon Broken
Revenue Parthenon Broken
The Diving Board Philosophy vs. The Parthenon Philosophy

How do you pick which pillars to focus on?

But first, let’s dissect how to grow any business in general.

There are ONLY 3 ways to grow any business.

Let’s hear from the marketing expert himself, Jay Abraham.

1. Increase the number of clients

2. Increase the average transaction value

3. Increase the frequency of repurchase


Here’s a guide as to choose the most optimal marketing channels for your company:

1. Think about your target market

Think about your ideal prospect, customer, or client. Which platforms do they use? What places do they frequent? What are their lifestyle habits? Don’t make the mistake of starting from tactics or strategies. That’s the wrong order! These should be based off your target market.

2. Clearly define your unique selling proposition (USP).

Be a top choice in your industry by clearly differentiate yourself from your competition, to the point where customers would be silly not to choose you.

3. Start with picking your offline marketing streams.

This is especially if you have a brick and mortar business. Onboarding clients through Face-to-Face marketing is still a powerful avenue. Even in these digital times, offline marketing is still relevant, so don’t be too quick to dismiss it. Thus, attend your masterclasses, networking events, trade conventions and fairs, advertise on the local newspapers or radio stations works if it works well for your business.

Hence in your Greek Parthenon, trade shows would be your marketing stream #1, advertising on the local paper could be marketing stream #2 and so on.

4. Pick your online marketing streams based on #1… Your TARGET AUDIENCE.

Research on where your target customers frequent, be it Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, TikTok or podcast sites. If your offering solves a specific problem you can try marketing based on specific keywords or phrases on search engines like Google. Another powerful revenue stream could be Amazon. Leverage on targeting features to maximize the conversion on your advertisements.

Set up an email marketing system, to follow-up or auto-respond to clients. Make sure you have an auto-promotional email for those prospects who may reject your offer at first.

When picking your social media marketing channels, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and try to have a presence on every platform. Although you can always repurpose your content, it’s best to focus on 1 to 2 social media platforms before spreading yourself too thin. Once, you have built up some quality content, mastered these and gained a sizable following, then you can start new profiles. Remember, discerning prospects want quality over quantity, so build your reputation on that.

It’s all about opportunity cost! Although online marketing is important, as a small business owner, you should not be spending all your time making the “perfect” post. So remember to balance your time and priorities!

Now that you know how to choose your pillars, what are some actual actionable methods or tools you can use to grow your business today?

How do you increase your client base?

Ideas for lead generation

  1. Social media marketing
  2. Referral systems
  3. Host-beneficiary relationships
  4. Creating a website
  5. Lead generation services
  6. Advertising
  7. Google pay per click
  8. Direct mail
  9. Telemarketing
  10. Special Events
  11. Develop a USP
  12. Client education to heighten the perceived value of your offerings

Ideas for increasing client retention rate

  1. Deliver exceptional service (“better-than-expected”)
  2. Build strong client relationships by frequently communicating
  3. Email marketing

Ideas for increasing conversion (from inquiries to sales)

  1. Improve the sales skills of your staff
  2. Guarantees for purchases (risk reversal)
  3. Acquire clients at breakeven up front, then profit on the back end

How do you increase the average transaction value?

  1. Improve your up-selling and cross-selling techniques
  2. Package your complementary offerings together
  3. Create a premium version of your offerings
  4. Increase your price and hence, margins
  5. Use point-of-sale promotions

How do you increase transaction frequency?

  1. Develop back end products to sell to your clients (CRM system)
  2. Organize exclusive, special events e.g. “members only pre-sale”, “closed door sales” , etc.
  3. Frequent communication to maintain a strong client relationships

Main Takeaway

New platforms and tools are being launched on the daily! From AI chatbots, search engine optimization (SEO), CRM tools such as email marketing to social media tools, there are endless ways to build your Parthenon.

However, this also makes us susceptible to the Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS). The challenge is to cut through the clutter and use what truly works for your business. Only you know your clients best!

The checklist above can kickstart your journey and guide you in growing your business. Adding a pillar to your Parthenon does not guarantee profitability nor success! Thus, remember to track and test your metrics, then pivot based on what is effective. Never be complacent with achieving the objective of adding and maintaining as many profitable pillars, while eliminating unprofitable pillars.

Now that you’ve understood the importance of creating a Multichannel Marketing Strategy, start building your robust pillars right now!

Don’t know where to start? Click here to find out how we can support you in achieving long-term growth and success for your business!