The use of multiple marketing channels is a method used by many small businesses and large corporations. Marketers use multiple marketing channels as a way to reach a broader audience and maximize the impact of the overall strategy. Although there are benefits to such an approach, the disadvantages are significant and should be considered.

Loss of Focus

The more different types of marketing channels your small business uses to get the word out, the less focused each of your individual marketing campaigns may become. Small businesses in particular tend to have a harder time creating, distributing and monitoring more than one marketing campaign distributed through more than one marketing channel at a time. This is in part due to the lack of a dedicated marketing department in most cases, and the need to maintain relationships with a diverse array of marketing partners. A laser-like focus on the performance and return on investment of each campaign is a necessary part of successful marketing and the use of multiple channels may not allow for that focus.

Mixed Messages

It is often difficult for businesses who engage in campaigns that utilize multiple marketing channels to maintain a constant and consistent marketing message throughout. When you have more than one advertising campaign running at any one time, the messages being sent may intentionally not be the same for different segments of the market. Consistency is the key to establishing brand and product recognition and prestige, and to developing loyalty among the consumer base. When the messages you are producing are confused or inconsistent, the result may be a lack of trust and a generally negative response to your advertising.

Increased Expense

The more variation there is in your marketing channels, the more staff you will need to run them. In addition to staffing concerns, varied marketing channels often cost more to develop, launch and run. For many small businesses, this is a primary concern since marketing funds are limited and any expense directly impacts the rest of the business. Marketing commitments and costs tend to grow organically as the business succeeds and the number and types of campaign increases. Keeping a tab on what is spent, how and why is often the No. 1 concern for small-business owners. If sales numbers are going up, the extra costs are often overlooked. If not, the money spent on multiple marketing channels can become a burden very quickly.


The scheduling involved with campaigns that are distributed through multiple marketing channels is always a challenge. Each type of campaign and each form of promotion typically has its own development, completion and distribution schedule. Keeping track of what runs when is a challenge for any small business, especially those operating without a specific marketing department. Payment of external contracts that result from multiple marketing channels is another part of the scheduling process that can prove challenging and at time overwhelming. With some forms of marketing paid in full up front and others due after the ads have run, the potential for confusion and overlooked debts is real.