ROI of TV, Radio, and Billboard Advertisements

When creating your marketing strategy for the upcoming quarter or year, it’s important to make sure you have a few key fundamentals. One of those fundamentals, regardless of the marketing channel, is a goal. What are you striving to accomplish? Another key fundamental is your ROI or return on investment. How much are you going to invest and how much are you going to get out of your efforts? When it comes to traditional mediums like TV, radio, and billboards, it’s easy to lose track.

What’s the ROI of Television Advertising?

Most of us grew up with old school television advertising. Today, TV advertising doesn’t have the same power that it used to. Though millions are still spent for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl. Before we take a look at the return on investment of television advertising, we should talk about how it’s calculated.

ROI can be simply calculated by dividing the gross sales margin with the ad campaign cost. If the ad costs $1,000 and the gross sales margin is $2,000, there’s a ROI of 200 percent.

Based on data collected by Statista, for each dollar invested in TV advertising, 6.5 dollars was earned. (Source:

What’s the ROI for Radio Advertising?

Radio advertising is even less popular for many brands simply because radio consumption has decreased. Many people now stream their music, ad free, in their cars, on their phones, and from their computers. That said, it’s an exceptional way to reach a local market. The same Statista source reports that for every dollar spent on radio advertising, 4.95 dollars is earned.

What About Billboards?

Billboard advertising generates 5.97 dollars for every dollar spent.

Without context, it’s difficult to compare what type of advertising has the best, and the worst, return on investment. It’s important to note, before we talk about the best and the worst, that there is still a return on investment. If you spend $1 on an ad and you earn $1.01, that’s still a profit. With billboards, television, and radio the return may not feel impressive but it’s still a positive return. The advertisement channel is still effective.

So, What’s the Worst Return? (and What’s the Best?)

Based on the same data collection from Statista, they found that print advertising had the worst return on investment with every dollar spent returning $4.12 and the digital display returning just a little more at $4.83. The best return was a digital search. For every dollar spent, the return was $11.05. You may be tempted to compare these returns, and it is most certainly good information. Also consider, when choosing your advertising mediums, where your audience is and what they’re most likely to respond to.

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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