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How is Marketing ROI (Return on Investment) Calculated?

Marketing ROI (Return On Investment) is calculated as the ratio of incremental contribution to sales from a marketing channel divided by the spend in that marketing channel. This is the most common formula used to evaluate the return on investment of media dollars.

Incremental_sales = f(media_spend, raw_sales, other_parameters)

Once incremental sales is calculated for a tactic using one of the above techniques, the ROI for that tactic is calculated using the following formula.

ROI = (incremental_sales) / (media_spend)


ROI = (revenue – media_spend) / (media_spend)

Another commonly used marketing term is ROAS: Return On Ad Spend. The formula for ROAS: (revenue) / (media_spend)

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Madan Bharadwaj

Expert in advertising measurement, attribution and analytics