The Parthenon Philosophy is the most powerful marketing concept I have ever encountered. It was introduced to me several years ago by marketing master Jay Abraham. And since, everything I do in business is based on this very same principle.
Most small businesses owners I interact with continuously rely on one or two marketing approaches to grow and sustain their business. Direct sales and / or referral marketing aka word-of-mouth marketing are the two most common instruments businesses deploy to get more clients and increase their revenue.
What happens when direct sales becomes less effective?
What happens when people stop sending you referrals?
Your business stream diminishes and you start losing ground. That’s not a very smart approach, don’t you think?
So why not increase the stability of your business by building it on several robust pillars aka revenue streams. Why not build a Greek Parthenon type of business from the very beginning.
The Diving Board Philosophy vs. The Parthenon Philosophy
Let’s start with a brief description of both philosophies.
- The Diving Board Philosophy states that you build your business on a single revenue stream or marketing pillar (e.g. direct sales).
- The Parthenon Philosophy states that you build your business on several robust pillars or marketing profit centers (e.g. direct sales + referral system + joint ventures + advertising + email marketing + telemarketing + podcasting).
OK, so now that you understand the underlying principle of the Parthenon Philosophy and why it’s critical to build a business that has a strong foundation, you might be faced with the following trick question:
But which pillars?
Especially with the online craziness going on and the gazillions of marketing weapons at hand, how do you know what works and what not? How do you know which pillars to pick?
I’ll get into that in a few seconds but first, let’s have a closer look at the different ways you can grow your business. It’s not as complicated and overwhelming as most people think it is. Actually it’s quite simple.
There are ONLY 3 ways to grow a business… any business.
Let’s hear them from marketing legend Jay Abraham himself.
The 3 Ways to Grow a Business
These are the ONLY three ways you can deploy to grow your business:
- Increase the number of clients
- Increase the average transaction value
- Increase the frequency of repurchase (get more residual value out of each client you have)
Now, let’s head over to the pillars of the Parthenon as I promised previously…
Greek Parthenon Pillars
We are bombarded on a daily basis with all kinds of marketing instruments, tools, messages and what not. And there lies the biggest challenge: Where do you put your attention? Which ones do you choose?
Here’s a quick checklist as to how to go about this topic so that you pick your marketing channels wisely:
1. Always start with your prospect’s and customer’s mind.
Get inside the head of your ideal audience: prospect, customer, client, or patient. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is they start with tactics or strategies. That’s the wrong order. Start with targeting first.
2. Be crystal clear about your unique selling proposition (USP).
Be a preferred choice.
3. Pick your offline marketing streams first, especially if you have a brick and mortar business.
Nothing beats Face-to-Face marketing to this day and age. If you onboard customers by attending all kinds of trade shows and fairs, include that into your marketing arsenal. If advertising on the local radio station works amazingly well for you, continue doing that.
This is how you build your own Greek Parthenon: trade shows is marketing stream #1, advertising on local radio station could be marketing stream #2.
You’re a consultant or work-at-home business owner?
Great. Don’t dismiss the power of offline just because sitting in front of the computer is “more comfortable”. There are a ton of home-based business owners who generate way more sales via offline methods than online gurus who do a couple of hundred or thousand dollars by posting on social media, writing a blog, or uploading some fancy YouTube videos.
4. Pick your online marketing streams based on #1… Your TARGETING.
Go where your audience is. If they spend most of their time on Facebook and LinkedIn, you gotta be there. If they like to consume video, make sure you use YouTube appropriately.
Browsers search on Google, buyers search items on Amazon… therefore look at how you can embed Amazon into your online marketing strategy. It’s a fantastic revenue stream.
Have an email marketing system in place, a so called follow-up or autoresponder sequence. Use Facebook’s powerful targeting features to capture leads, promote your next event, or get people to call you straight from a local awareness ad.
Whatever you do, just don’t rush into too many channels. Pick 1-2 social marketing channels and master those prior to adding another one to your portfolio. Online marketing is not about having profiles all over the place and posting willy-nilly.
Furthermore, you need to be aware of the fact that as a small business owner you have more important tasks to accomplish than sending out tweets or wasting numerous hours on Periscope, Snapchat, you name it trying to figure out how this next social thing works — especially if your ideal clients have never heard of Snapchat & Co.
Wrapping It Up
The world is changing at a rapid pace. New online marketing platforms are launched on a daily basis. Innovative search engine tools, CRM tools, or social media tools are a dime a dozen.
It’s paradise for those who suffer from the Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS) and it’s a mess for all those looking to find out what really works. Use the above checklist as a starting point and let it guide you to success. No one knows your customers better than you do.
How many marketing pillars are necessary to your long-term business success? What are these pillars?