ROI vs ROAs: Know How to Use Them to Succeed

Measuring the financial performance of marketing and advertising strategies is essential for business success. In this context, two important metrics emerge: ROI (Return on Investment) and ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend). Although related, these indicators have significant differences in their application and purpose. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between ROI and ROAS, highlighting when and how these metrics work together. Additionally, we will discuss the definition of ROAS and the situations in which it is especially useful. Let’s dive into the world of ROI and ROAS and understand how they can be leveraged to drive business success.

What is ROAs?

ROAS is an acronym that stands for Return on Advertising Spend, and It is a metric used to evaluate the effectiveness of an advertising campaign or investment in ads by measuring the financial return generated in relation to the amount invested.

ROAS is calculated by dividing the profit obtained from advertising by the amount spent on it. This metric helps businesses understand the real impact of their advertising campaigns and make informed decisions about their marketing investments.

By analyzing ROAS, it is possible to identify which campaigns or advertising channels are delivering the best results in terms of conversions, sales, and profitability. Based on this information, companies can optimize their marketing strategies by allocating resources to the most effective areas and adjusting those that are not generating the expected return.

ROAS is an important metric for any business that invests in advertising as it allows them to evaluate the performance of these actions and make data-driven decisions. By monitoring and analyzing ROAS regularly, companies can maximize the return on their advertising investments and allocate their resources more efficiently.

It is important to note that ROAS can vary depending on the industry, target audience, advertising strategies, and other factors. Therefore, it is crucial to closely track this metric and adapt strategies as needed to achieve the best possible results.

In summary, ROAS is a fundamental metric for evaluating the financial return generated by advertising investments. By understanding and analyzing ROAS, companies can make smarter decisions about their marketing investments and optimize their campaigns to achieve the best results.

What are the differences and similarities between ROI and ROAS?

ROI (Return on Investment) and ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) are two metrics used to evaluate financial performance and return on investments, but they have some distinct differences and similarities.


  1. Definition: ROI is a broader metric that calculates the overall financial return on an investment, taking into account all associated costs and gains. On the other hand, ROAS is specifically focused on evaluating the return on advertising investment, considering only the expenses on ads and the results achieved.
  2. Focus: ROI encompasses all aspects of an investment, such as operational expenses, production costs, taxes, among others. Meanwhile, ROAS exclusively focuses on the outcomes and gains generated by advertising.
  3. Scope of analysis: ROI can be applied to any type of investment, such as equipment acquisition, launching a new product, or business expansion. In contrast, ROAS is specific to evaluating the return on advertising investments.


  1. Measurement of financial return: Both ROI and ROAS aim to assess the financial return on an investment. Both metrics seek to determine whether the investment has generated profit or loss and to what extent.
  2. Evaluation of efficiency: Both ROI and ROAS are metrics used to measure the efficiency of an investment. Both indicate whether the investment is worthwhile and whether it is generating a positive return.
  3. Performance analysis: Both metrics are used to analyze the performance of a specific strategy or investment. They allow companies to assess the effectiveness of their actions and make informed decisions based on the results obtained.

Although ROI and ROAS differ in terms of scope and focus, both are important for evaluating financial performance and return on investments. ROI is more comprehensive and can be applied to different types of investments, while ROAS is more specific to evaluating the return on advertising investments. Both metrics provide valuable insights to help companies make strategic decisions and optimize their investments.

Are there times when ROI and ROAS work together?

ROI (Return on Investment) and ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) can work together when evaluating the financial performance of a specific advertising strategy. While ROI is a more comprehensive metric that takes into account all financial aspects of an investment, ROAS is specific to evaluating the return on advertising investment.

When combined, ROI and ROAS can provide a more complete view of the financial performance of an advertising campaign. ROAS measures the return generated exclusively from advertising expenses, while ROI considers all costs and gains associated with the investment, including operational expenses, taxes, among others.

By evaluating ROI and ROAS together, it is possible to determine if the advertising strategy is generating a positive return on investment and if the advertising costs are effectively being converted into revenue. This combined analysis can help companies make informed decisions regarding resource allocation, campaign optimization, and identifying opportunities for improvement.

However, it is important to note that not all companies or situations require the simultaneous use of ROI and ROAS. It depends on business objectives, the nature of the investment, and the relevant metrics for evaluating the financial performance of a specific advertising strategy. Each company should determine which metrics are most relevant and useful for their specific needs.

When is it worth resorting to ROAS?

It is worth resorting to ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) in situations where the main objective is to evaluate the specific financial performance of an advertising campaign. Here are some situations where ROAS can be particularly useful:

  1. Online advertising campaigns: ROAS is often used in digital advertising campaigns, such as paid ads on social media platforms, search engines, or display ads on websites. It allows you to evaluate the return on investment in these campaigns and identify which channels or strategies are generating the best financial results.
  2. Comparison of advertising channels: ROAS is a useful metric for comparing the performance of different advertising channels. By calculating ROAS for each channel, you can identify which ones are offering the best financial return and allocate your investments more efficiently.
  3. Campaign optimization: ROAS can be used to optimize ongoing advertising campaigns. By monitoring ROAS over time, you can identify trends, adjust strategies, and reallocate resources to maximize return on investment.
  4. Evaluation of advertising effectiveness: ROAS helps evaluate the effectiveness of advertising in relation to spending. It allows you to identify if advertising investments are being profitably converted into revenue and determine if advertising costs are being used efficiently.

In summary, ROAS is especially useful when you want to evaluate the financial performance of specific advertising campaigns, compare advertising channels, and optimize investments to maximize returns. It provides a direct insight into the financial impact of advertising efforts and helps guide resource allocation decisions and marketing strategies.


Measuring the financial return of marketing and advertising strategies is crucial for making informed decisions and allocating resources efficiently. Both ROI and ROAS play fundamental roles in this process, but each with its specific approach and focus. While ROI provides an overall view of the financial return on a marketing investment, ROAS focuses exclusively on the return on advertising spend. However, it is important to remember that these metrics should not be considered in isolation but rather work together to provide a more comprehensive view of financial performance.