Achieve Maximum Impact: What is Good Marketing ROI?

Christoph Trappe 4 minute read

Of course, we all want to see a good marketing ROI. Put in a dollar, and make a few dollars, but what is actually a good marketing ROI, and how can you go about increasing your marketing ROI from bad to good and then great?  Let’s discuss that topic here.

In this article, I cover the following:

What is marketing ROI?

In the simplest terms, marketing ROI – which stands for return on investment – is a formula that calculates how much revenue can be attributed to your marketing strategies. For example, if you spend $100,000 on marketing and make $200,000, your marketing ROI is  2:1.

The importance of marketing ROI is clear: At the end of the day, marketing should drive business results. Get the right buyers aware of the product or services, get them to consider buying from you, close the deal, and then keep them engaged while they are customers and continue to stay customers.

Read next: Hiring a marketing team, hiring a marketing agency, or fractional CMO?

How to determine your marketing ROI

It’s good to determine how much you should spend on marketing, which can be done through a marketing budget planner tool like this one. Of course, it’s important to determine your strategy and be realistic about what can be accomplished and what are some commonly accepted benchmarks for marketing success.

To determine your overall marketing ROI, look at the overall expenses marketing adds to the business and then evaluate the total revenue influenced by those activities.

Certainly, that can be tricky sometimes, and some things are easier to measure than others. For example, a paid ads campaign costs a certain amount of money, and when it’s a bottom-of-the-funnel campaign, we can look at how many sales it directly led to. Easy peasy math. Other measurements can be trickier.

We know it takes several touchpoints to get buyers to become aware, consider, and then buy from a company. That all needs to be included in the marketing operation as it positively influences revenue and drives growth.

The different types of marketing ROI

Let’s talk through six different types of marketing ROI – from not too good to better to better than average.

Negative ROI

Here, you spend a certain amount of money on your marketing and make less than that amount.

The math

$100,000 spent on marketing
$50,000 revenue attributable to marketing

Clearly, this is not a place to be long-term, and when companies end up here – even short-term – it raises the question of whether marketing works for revenue generation. Consider some quick steps to move in a more positive direction.

Read next: 5 steps to start: How to do account-based marketing


Here, you spend a certain amount of money on your marketing and make that same exact amount back. Your marketing is breaking even.

The math

$100,000 spent on marketing
$100,000 revenue attributable to marketing


When your marketing ROI is 3:1, some things are working, and others aren’t. It’s time to test and optimize and really build on the momentum.

The math

$100,000 spent on marketing
$300,000 revenue attributable to marketing


Once you reach the 5:1 ROI threshold, that’s a great performance – by all accounts. Aim for this, and once here, it’s easy to feel confident about your growth marketing efforts. A well-run marketing program should achieve this kind of growth.

The math

$100,000 spent on marketing
$500,000 revenue attributable to marketing


Having a 7x marketing ROI is something to dream of, but it is not that common. But of course, once the return on investment hits the five-fold increase, why not make it a goal to get to seven-fold?

The math

$100,000 spent on marketing
$700,000 revenue attributable to marketing

How to improve your marketing ROI

It’s certainly important to come up with the right budget and strategy. From there, implementation matters. There will never be a good return on investment without the proper strategy, implementation, and systems to measure the impact of marketing.

You likely will need a CRM like Hubspot to make sure you are able to track contacts and see what path they took from social media and on your website.

Especially if you have a successful branded podcast, consider adding an open text box on your contact forms or chatbot asking people, “How did you hear about us?” They can answer with a variety of responses, including:

  • I listened to your podcast episode on XYZ
  • A while ago, I started following your company on LinkedIn and then typed in the website address to reach out.
  • The list can go on and on and on…

The marketing funnel is no longer a linear experience – if it ever was – so this allows you to track some of the marketing successes that can’t be measured through a last-click or first-click measurement. Then, putting the behavioral data and self-reported data together can give you a fuller picture of the return on investment all your marketing activities are driving.

To further improve your marketing ROI, it’s important to run the right strategies and run them in a way that can drive success. For example, don’t run an awareness campaign and put it in front of potential buyers in a place where they go when they are ready to make a decision and buy. So, the message and positioning matter, but which specific pieces are shared at certain times matters, too.

At the end of the day, marketing ROI improves when the right strategy is implemented, and the proper tracking and attribution are set up.

Starting on the right foot

But to start on the right foot, understand the target market – create personas – and make use of the right market research strategies.

“I’ve worked with companies, well-known brands that you know, that really don’t have a research department at all whatsoever,” said Research Veteran Brian Monschein on “Marketing, Demystified.” “And they needed help and realize that they’re spending a lot of money on product launches, and a lot of them are failing. And they don’t really understand why.”

Market research firms know the importance of market research, and that’s not different for their marketing projects. The more they understand the target market, the better the marketing can be, and with that, it can drive more results.


By incorporating market research into your marketing strategy, you’re not just shooting in the dark – you’re making calculated moves based on solid data.

This approach tied to a strategic marketing program can help you move from a 3:1 ROI to a 5:1 or even 7:1 ROI, maximizing the impact of your marketing investments and driving real, measurable growth for your business.

Accelerate your marketing ROI now.



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