Single-channel marketing strategies focus your business on a single means of reaching your customers. Your choices of marketing channels might include a retail sales force, online commerce, or a business-to-business partnership. Each channel has its own benefits and limitations. A multiple-channel strategy takes advantage of more than one channel to optimize your outreach to consumers.

For example, Jamba Juice uses the single-channel strategy of franchises located in multiple regions of the U.S. and the beginnings of international franchising as well. By contrast, colas such as Coke and Pepsi use a multiple-channel strategy that includes placement in grocery stores, bars, restaurants, stadiums and vending machines.

Advantage: Lower Costs

Single-channel marketing can help minimize your marketing expenses. It has been estimated that a single-channel marketing strategy can cost as much as one-third less than multiple-channel strategies. A single-channel marketing campaign also lends itself to being developed and launched more quickly than multiple-channel campaigns.

Disadvantage: Missed Opportunities

In this digital age, mobile devices, social media, and emerging communication technologies bring additional marketing channels into play. These new technologies also change the shopping, buying and peer-influence behaviors of your customers. The profound focus of a single-channel strategy comes at the expense of missed opportunities in the huge variety of other channels your target customers might be using.

Advantage: Maintaining Dominance

If you’re lucky enough to dominate the market for your product or service, a single-channel strategy can help you keep that control. De Beers, for example, continued its single-channel strategy in the diamond business well past the change of most industries to multiple-channel strategies. The drawback to using a single-channel market dominance strategy is that success is most likely if your business is either a global power or you control a small local market.

Disadvantage: Channel Limitations

A single-channel marketing strategy will only let your business grow as far as your chosen marketing channel is capable of reaching. For example, having a local or regional retail presence will give your brand strong visibility in those communities, but will cost you business from online shoppers in other locations. On the other hand, using online sales as your single channel is often less effective at building relationships with your customers. Each channel has its strengths and limitations.