What is the difference between ROAS and ROI?

Zeeshan Riaz March 14, 2022

Learn the difference between ROAS and ROI

Over the past few decades, marketing and advertising have seen a dramatic shift. It was common practice in pre-digital times to use trade exhibitions, telemarketers to reach out to potential customers by telephone, and conventional media advertising like television and print. Many new advanced technologies now allow digital marketers the opportunity to reach and influence potential customers across many channels and devices in our ever-changing and diverse marketing landscape.

Additionally, the field of marketing analytics has evolved through time. As a marketing metric, return on investment (ROI) has long been considered the best way to justify marketing expenditures and quantify the performance of a marketing effort. It was designed to evaluate the amount of revenue a business generates for each dollar it spends on digital advertising with the rise of e-commerce and digital marketing platforms and solutions.

The difference between ROAS and ROI

So, what’s the difference between ROAS and ROI, and which one should you use as a yardstick for your company’s progress? We’ll go over what ROI and ROAS are and how they’re used to evaluate marketing and advertising initiatives in more detail below.

What does ROAS stand for?

Advertising and marketing ROI (ROAS) is a way to quantify the success of a company’s activities. Measures the effectiveness of an organization’s efforts in producing leads and sales. Organizations can use ROAS to determine if the money they spend on marketing efforts has a high return on investment.

ROAS can be calculated using the following formula:

ROAS = revenue from ad campaign / cost of ad campaign *100

This formula yields a ratio, which may be converted to a percentage by multiplying it by 100. ROAS is calculated as follows: $1,000 spent on advertising yields $6,000 in income, resulting in an ROI of 6:1, or $6. The ROAS is 400 %, which may be calculated by multiplying this number by 100.

What does ROI stand for?

The performance of an investment can be gauged by looking at its return on investment (ROI). An investment or company’s profitability can be assessed using this statistic, which measures the effectiveness of several investments. This helps businesses make better business decisions in the future by allowing them to see if they’ve made a smart investment.

It is possible to look at the ROI formula in two ways. There are two ways to calculate the first formula:

ROI is calculated as follows: (current investment value – investment cost) / investment cost.

ROI is also expressed as a percentage in the second formula. There are two ways to solve this problem.

(profits – costs / costs) x 100 Equals return on investment

The Difference Between ROAS and ROI


Organizations can utilize ROAS and ROI to evaluate how much money they are spending. ROAS, on the other hand, focuses on the amount of money spent on advertising and marketing and how much income a company generates as a result. In order to determine how much money was made from a certain investment, the return on investment (ROI) is calculated.

Investing method

Depending on the sort of investment, you may use ROAS or ROI. An advertising and marketing campaign’s return on advertising and marketing spend is calculated using the ROAS formula. It is possible to calculate the return on investment (ROI) for a variety of investments.

Types of expenditures

Profitability can be measured using the return on investment (ROI). It takes into consideration different forms of expenditures made by the organization. Despite this, ROAS only applies to ad spending, and it does not apply to other sorts of organizational earnings.


ROAS simply looks at the difference between what a company makes from advertising and what it spends on it. ROI, on the other hand, assesses profits after all costs have been deducted. This gives investors a complete picture of their total returns, making it easier to determine whether or not they made a wise decision.


Consider both ROAS and ROI while making company decisions, as they are both significant indicators. Although ROAS can be a useful tool, it should not be relied upon completely. Even if an advertisement’s conversion rate is very high, a company’s bottom line could suffer as a result. In addition to ROAS, ROI presents a more comprehensive picture by taking other costs into account.


Various kinds of information can be gleaned from ROAS and ROI estimates. The return on advertising spend (ROAS) tells us if an ad is doing its job. However, ROI is a measure of how profitable the effort is. This is the difference between ROAS and ROI mainly.


It is important for businesses to calculate and apply ROI and ROAS as part of their decision-making process. Advertising methods that generate the highest sales can be identified using ROAS. Nevertheless, ROI can be useful in understanding which methods bring in the most money for a company.


A company’s finances are depicted and impacted in different ways by ROI and ROAS. ROAS is typically seen as a necessary evil by the vast majority of businesses. ROI, on the other hand, is advantageous for businesses since it allows them to gradually boost their earnings through the usage of their capital.

Calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) of Online Advertising Campaigns

Ads for mobile video, programmatic advertising, and native advertising can be measured using these soft metrics.

Ads for Mobile Video on the Internet

Mobile video advertising has a far higher ROI than traditional television commercials. You don’t have to worry about your audience trying to watch an ad on television with kids, pets, and other distractions because they view the mobile ad immediately on their devices. You can quickly and effectively generate traffic and raise awareness of your company by using these adverts.

Adverts that are native to the site

Using native advertising, users may access a variety of information that is simple to comprehend. This form of advertisement is common in newspapers and magazines. If you’ve ever been on Facebook, you’ve probably seen it in action there as well.

The return on investment (ROI) of native advertising isn’t as straightforward as one may expect. Not only must you determine how many people clicked through, but you must also determine the value of those clicks to your site.

Automated Marketing

Each year, a large sum of money is spent on programmatic advertising. Depending on your company’s objectives and the demographics of your intended audience, you can alter this advertising. You’ll need ad-supporting software to make this form of advertorial work on your site.

These advertising must be mapped regularly in order to be effective. With this advertising, it’s not just about getting people to click through. It is also critical for consumers to be aware of your brand. The more you run your campaign, the more people will hear about your company and its products on social media.

Measuring Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) for Digital Advertising Campaigns

How can you tell if a particular ad campaign is working? Unlike other metrics, ROAS is able to provide real-time information about your campaign. This enables marketers to quickly determine the most effective strategies and change their campaigns accordingly.

Learn Advertising Strategies that are Cost-Effective.

Take the time to study where your clients are and how they found you online before you start analyzing your overall success. Get to know your traffic sources by using one of these methods:

  • Promo codes, with a unique code for each source of traffic.
  • After the transaction, conduct a customer satisfaction survey.
  • Make use of a variety of phone numbers in ads.
  • Create URLs that point to your website by creating custom URLs.
  • Produce HTML code to keep track of a user’s past actions.

Take Advantage of Several Opportunities

Before most individuals take action, they need to see an advertisement several times. For the most part, people only contact a company after viewing a campaign seven times. If you want to attract new customers, you don’t only need to put up a few ads; you also need to look at several approaches.

Determine what your average customer’s immediate demands are. Locate areas to advertise and monitor your results as you go.

When determining success, consider the following factors:

  • The campaign’s total cost
  • Costs for labor and development (including time)
  • Your ROAS is based on these elements, which assist assess the efficacy of each ad.

What is good for your business ROI or ROAS?

Profitability, cost structure, and how marketing resources are allocated are all factors that go into determining a “good” return on investment for your business. Since the ROI bell curve places a 5:1 ROI ratio in the middle, any ROI ratio higher than that is regarded as good for most organizations.

There is no “correct” solution for ROAS, but a 4:1 revenue-to-ad-spend ratio is generally considered acceptable. In a Nielsen survey conducted in 2015, the average ROAS for most industries was found to be $2.87 for every $1 invested. Some industries have larger ratios, while others have lower ratios. Identify the industry average before setting your ROAS goal.

If you’re calculating ROAS, keep in mind all of the additional expenditures and expenses related to your digital ad campaign. Vendor and partner fees and commissions, affiliate commissions, network transaction fees, the average cost per click (CPC), and impressions purchased are all examples of these charges. If you include the cost of these ads, your ROI won’t accurately reflect your entire profitability, but your ROAS will. Also, you can use formulas to calculate the difference between ROAS and ROI.

Is it better to look at the return on investment (ROI) or return on assets (ROA)?

Your mix of digital and traditional marketing initiatives, the emphasis on short-term revenue growth versus long-term profits, and more will all play a role in your decision-making process when it comes to ROI vs. ROAS.

Rather than profit, keep in mind that ROAS considers revenue particular to a given campaign. While it won’t tell you if your paid advertising campaign is genuinely lucrative for the firm, it may be a wonderful tool to assist you in bettering your online marketing efforts and producing more clicks and income. Unlike ROI, for this and other reasons, many businesses use ROI and ROAS to develop marketing plans and campaigns that provide results.


Hope you have learned the difference between ROAS and ROI, now let’s discuss the further frequently asked questions about it.

How do you calculate ROI and ROAS?

You can calculate ROI and ROAS using the formula below:

ROI = (Gross Profit / Net Spending) x 100

ROAS = (Advertisement Revenues / Advertising Expenses) x 100

What is ROI analysis in marketing?

Return on investment (ROI) is an important performance metric used to assess an investment’s efficiency or profitability. In addition, it is a useful tool for comparing the efficiency of a variety of investments. In marketing, this can be used to find the efficiency of investment done on a marketing or promotional campaign.

What exactly do ROAS measures

ROAS is a metric that evaluates the amount of money spent on advertising that is returned in revenue. It is a metric used by advertisers to measure the success of their internet advertising initiatives.


It’s not a secret that ROI calculations are an integral part of the creation of marketing campaigns. Using this information will not assist you in determining the success or failure of a campaign. You can use ROAS to uncover specific techniques that have been proven to create sales, as well as evaluate potential profitability. For years to come, you can use these techniques to acquire new clients through a variety of marketing activities.

That is the difference between ROAS and ROI mainly, and what you want to choose depends entirely on you. We hope this article helps you understand the differences between the two metrics if you didn’t know before.

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