Marketing campaigns are investments. And like any smart investment, they need to be measured, monitored and compared to other investments to ensure you’re spending your money wisely.

Unfortunately, far too many businesses fail to make use of this powerful practice — making it in many ways a “secret weapon.”

Return on investment (ROI) is a measure of the profit earned from each investment. Like the “return” you earn on your portfolio or bank account, it’s calculated as a percentage. In simple terms, the calculation is:

(Return – Investment)


It’s typically expressed as a percentage, so multiple the result by 100.

ROI calculations for marketing campaigns can be complex — you may have many variables on both the profit side and the investment (cost) side. But understanding the formula is essential if you need to produce the best possible results with your marketing investments.

For marketing ROI, the tricky part is determining what constitutes your “return,” and what is your true investment. For example, different marketers might consider the following for return:

  • Total revenue generated for a campaign (or gross receipts or turnover, depending on your organization type and location, which is simply the top line sales generated from the campaign)
  • Gross profit, or a gross profit estimate, which is revenue minus the cost of goods to produce/deliver a product or service. Many marketers simply use the company’s COG percentage (say 30%) and deduct it from the total revenue
  • Net profit, which is gross profit minus expenses.

On the investment side, it’s easy for marketers to input the media costs as the investment. But what other costs should you include? To execute your campaign, you might have:

  • Creative costs
  • Technology costs (such as email platforms, website coding, etc)
  • Printing costs
  • Management time
  • Cost of sales expense

Basic Marketing ROI Formulas

One basic formula uses the gross profit for units sold in the campaign and the marketing investment for the campaign: [click to continue…]

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Stop for a minute and think about your people.

I don’t just mean your employees.  I mean ALL your people: your customers, your contractors, your investors, and, yes, your employees, too – everyone that has a stake in or influence on the success of your organization.

These aren’t just faceless numbers on a page. They’re people with lives, families, friends, hopes, dreams, fears, and tangible needs. And all those traits factor into their decision-making processes, including what they buy, who they buy it from, what they recommend to others, where they work, how they work and where they invest.

If you are serious about building your brand, you need make sure you are working to build strong relationships with all your stakeholders, and developing a strong community relations program is a great way to do just that.

What Is a Community Relations Program?

A community relations program is a marketing strategy that fosters a human connection between your business and the community. It’s about how you interact with other organizations, businesses, and individuals in your area — especially the ways you give back and support the communities in which your organization operates.

The concept of community relations has been around for literally centuries, but only became a formalized public relations strategy within the last four decades. Different organizations take different approaches and call it by different names. Corporate citizenship, corporate social responsibility and community stewardship are some of the terms that essentially refer the same concept.

Why Is Community Relations Important?

Customers today – especially those younger than age fifty — prefer to buy from, work for and/or invest in companies that are making a positive difference in the world. Research has repeatedly underscored that demonstrating that an organization promotes not just making a buck but making a difference is actually good business.

Here are three reasons you need a strong community relations strategy:

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