Home How to Calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) of a Marketing Campaign

How to Calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) of a Marketing Campaign

Return on Investment (ROI) is a metric that measures the profitability of an investment. In the arena of marketing, ROI is used to measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. By calculating the Return on Investment of a marketing campaign, businesses can determine whether the campaign successfully generated revenue and profits.

ROI of a Marketing Campaign

Companies need to ensure that the money they spend on a marketing campaign is worth it, or in other words, it pays off in the end. The money they put in is the “investment,” and the money they make from the marketing campaign is the “return,” hence the term “return on investment,” or ROI for short.

Calculating the Return on Investment of a marketing campaign can be a bit challenging as it involves several parts, such as the cost of the campaign, the revenue generated, and the length of the campaign. However, with the right data and tools, businesses can more easily and efficiently calculate the ROI of their marketing campaigns.

Simple ROI Formula

The simplest way to calculate ROI, not including all the other variables that play into an ROI calculation, is to take the sales growth from the product line or business and then subtract the total marketing cost. Once you calculate that number, the final step is to divide that number by the marketing cost.

  • Sales Growth – Marketing Cost= X
  • X/Marketing Cost=ROI

Or, more simply:

(Sales Growth – Marketing Cost)/ Marketing Cost = ROI

The following is a simple example with rounded numbers. In realistic ROI calculations, the numbers are not as clean and rounded:


Sales grew by $1,000, and the marketing campaign cost $100. The $100 marketing cost is then subtracted from the $1000 sales growth and then divided by the marketing cost of $100, which equals a 900% ROI.

Process of ROI Calculation

The first step in calculating the Return on Investment of a marketing campaign is to define your goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve with your campaign? Do you want to increase your sales, generate more leads, or improve your brand awareness? Defining your goals and objectives will help you determine how to calculate the ROI.

The second step is to calculate the cost of the campaign. This includes all the expenses associated with the campaign, such as the cost of creating the marketing materials, running the ads, and paying for any third-party services like a marketing firm. Make sure to account for every penny that went towards the marketing campaign.

The next step is to calculate the revenue generated from the campaign. This includes all the revenue generated directly from the campaign, such as the sales made or the leads generated.

To accurately calculate the revenue generated, you must track the conversion rates and the average value of each sale or lead. This is where it’s not as simple as the above calculations; there is so much to account for. Average organic sales growth plays a role if you want to be more critical in your ROI calculation.

The length of the campaign is an important factor in calculating the ROI. If your campaign ran for a short period, determining the ROI accurately may not be possible. On the other hand, if the campaign ran for a long period, it may have generated revenue beyond the campaign period, which should also be considered.

Final ROI Calculation

Once you have all the necessary data, you can now calculate the ROI of your marketing campaign using the following formula:

(Sales Growth – Average Organic Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = ROI

This equation for calculating ROI is much more involved, and there is a lot of data to consider when gathering numbers for this calculation.

More Ways to Calculate Return on Investment

Another formula to calculate ROI considering all of the differing data is:

ROI = (Revenue – Cost)/Cost x 100%

For example, let’s say you ran a social media ad campaign that generated $10,000 in revenue, and the campaign cost was $5,000. Using the formula above, the ROI of your campaign would be:

ROI = ($10,000 – $5,000)/$5,000 x 100% = 100%

That means you made $1 for every dollar that was spent on the marketing campaign.

Assessing ROI Results

Analyzing the results of your ROI calculation is important to determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. A positive ROI means that your campaign generated profits, while a negative ROI means that your campaign resulted in a loss.

If your ROI is negative, you need to evaluate your marketing strategy and make changes to improve your results in the future. An ROI takes time to build, and that is an important factor to consider, and there are varying ways to continue to track your ROI.

If you see that your ROI is not positive over a consecutive amount of time, then it may be time to ditch the campaign and try something else or build a marketing campaign that is stronger and more effective.

Analyzing the results of an ROI can also help you see which marketing channels and tactics are most successful in generating revenue and profits. This will enable you to focus on the channels and tactics that provide the best ROI to optimize your marketing strategy.

Final Word

 Calculating the Return on Investment of a marketing campaign is an essential step in evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Businesses depend on the ROI to give them a standard or success.

There are other ways to determine success, but ROI is the most needed and most reliable calculation to determine whether a marketing campaign is succeeding.

Featured Image Credit: Pexels; Thank you!

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Ross Kernez

Ross Kernez is a digital strategist, and SEO speaker with over 10 years of experience in Digital Marketing. He has helped many businesses to drive online across different digital channels.

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