Skip to main content

What is ROI?

Return on Investment (ROI) | Definition

ROI (Return on Investment) is the ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of money invested. ROI is used to determine the effectiveness and profitability of a marketing campaign or initiative. It measures the financial gain or loss generated relative to the investment made in marketing activities.

Related Terms

Campaign Cost

How is ROI calculated?

To calculate ROI, the net profit resulting from the marketing efforts is divided by the total cost of the campaign, expressed as a percentage or ratio.

A positive ROI indicates that the marketing efforts have generated more revenue than the cost incurred, signifying a successful and profitable venture. Conversely, a negative ROI implies that the marketing campaign has resulted in a net loss, indicating that adjustments or changes are necessary to improve future outcomes.

In addition to ROI, there are several other important metrics that marketers should measure to gain a comprehensive understanding of their marketing performance and make informed decisions. Some of these key metrics include:

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): CAC calculates the average cost incurred to acquire a new customer. It helps marketers assess the efficiency of their marketing campaigns in acquiring valuable customers and optimizing their acquisition strategies.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): CLV estimates the total revenue a customer is expected to generate over their entire relationship with the company. It provides insights into the long-term profitability of acquired customers and helps prioritize retention efforts.
  • Conversion Rate (CVR): CVR measures the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. Tracking conversion rates helps identify the effectiveness of landing pages, calls-to-action, and overall campaign performance.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR measures the percentage of people who click on a specific link or ad out of the total number of people who view it. A higher CTR indicates better ad engagement and relevance.

By measuring and analyzing these diverse metrics in conjunction with ROI, marketers can develop a holistic view of their marketing performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, and make data-driven decisions to continuously improve their marketing strategies.

An ROI example

Suppose a company invested $10,000 in a two-month digital advertising campaign to promote a new product. During the campaign, the company tracked the revenue generated from the sales of the promoted product, which amounted to $25,000.

To calculate the ROI, we’ll use the formula:

ROI = (Net Profit / Cost of Investment) x 100

First, we need to calculate the net profit:

Net Profit = Revenue – Cost of Investment Net Profit = $25,000 – $10,000 Net Profit = $15,000

Now, we can calculate the ROI:

ROI = ($15,000 / $10,000) x 100 ROI = 1.5 x 100 ROI = 150%

In this example, the ROI for the digital marketing campaign is 150%. This means that for every dollar invested in the campaign, the company earned an additional $1.50 in revenue, resulting in a profitable and successful marketing endeavor.

An ROI of 150% indicates that the marketing campaign was highly effective, and the company earned 50% more than the initial investment. Such positive results suggest that the marketing strategy was well-targeted and successful in generating revenue for the promoted product.

Why is ROI important?

ROI serves as a vital tool for marketing decision-makers to gauge the efficiency of their strategies, allocate resources wisely, and make informed choices for future endeavors. By analyzing ROI, businesses can identify high-performing campaigns, optimize their marketing spend, and maximize their overall profitability and growth.

  • Identify High-Performance campaigns: ROI serves as a performance metric for marketing campaigns. It allows marketers to gauge the success and effectiveness of their strategies and initiatives. By tracking ROI over time, marketers can identify high-performing campaigns and adjust or eliminate underperforming ones, optimizing their overall marketing approach.
  • Optimize marketing spend: ROI provides a clear financial assessment of marketing efforts. It helps businesses understand how much revenue is being generated relative to the money invested in marketing activities. This insight enables companies to make informed decisions about where to allocate their marketing budgets effectively.
  • Maximize profitability: Effective marketing campaigns that generate a positive ROI lead to increased revenue and profitability. As a result, businesses can grow and expand their operations, building a stronger market position and competitive advantage.

In summary, ROI in marketing is a critical metric that enables businesses to evaluate performance, allocate resources wisely, make data-driven decisions, and ultimately drive growth and profitability. By leveraging ROI insights, marketers can optimize their efforts and achieve a strong and sustainable market presence.


ROI and ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) are both essential metrics used to evaluate the effectiveness and profitability of marketing campaigns, but they differ in their scope and calculation. ROI is a broader financial metric that measures the overall return generated relative to the total investment, encompassing all costs and revenue related to a campaign. It considers not only the direct revenue from sales but also factors in other expenses like production, distribution, and overhead. 

On the other hand, ROAS is a more focused metric that specifically evaluates the revenue generated from advertising spend. It calculates the revenue generated directly from the advertising investment without considering other costs. ROAS is often used to assess the performance of specific advertising channels, campaigns, or keywords. While ROI provides a comprehensive view of a campaign’s profitability, ROAS offers a more granular perspective on the efficiency of advertising spend, making it a valuable tool for optimizing marketing tactics within a broader ROI analysis.

ROI and Kochava

Kochava is a mobile measurement partner (MMP) that provides a platform for advertisers to track and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns across various channels. By tracking user interactions and events across diverse marketing channels, attributing actions to specific campaigns and sources, and collecting granular user-level data, Kochava establishes a clear understanding of the customer journey from ad exposure to conversion. With multi-touch attribution models, marketers can accurately credit the contributions of various touchpoints in the user journey, gaining a comprehensive view of campaign performance. 

The integration of cost data from ad networks allows marketers to calculate the true cost of user acquisition and determine precise ROI figures for each marketing effort. Real-time reporting, customizable KPIs, and data visualization further empower marketers with actionable insights to optimize campaigns, improve ROI, and drive business success in the competitive mobile marketing landscape.

Ready to get started with Kochava? Contact us!