POAS vs ROAS: Key Metrics for Effective Ad Campaign Optimisation

As businesses navigate the complex world of digital marketing, two key metrics often come into focus: ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) and POAS (Profit on Ad Spend). While ROAS has long been a staple for measuring the efficacy of advertising campaigns, it’s become clear that POAS offers a clearer picture of profitability.

Unlike ROAS, which simply calculates the revenue generated per dollar spent on advertising, POAS accounts for the true profit by including costs such as COGS, shipping, and transaction fees. This metric provides a more detailed and accurate assessment of an ad’s financial impact.

Adopting POAS can significantly enhance decision-making for eCommerce businesses. By focusing on profit rather than just revenue, marketers can optimise their ad spend more effectively and ensure sustainable growth.

Comparing POAS and ROAS

Understanding the impact of POAS and ROAS on marketing campaigns is crucial for optimising ad spend and achieving business goals. This section breaks down their definitions, applications, and key differences.

Understanding ROAS

ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) measures the revenue generated per dollar spent on advertising. It’s a key performance indicator (KPI) for evaluating the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns.


[ \text{ROAS} = \frac{\text{Revenue from Ads}}{\text{Ad Spend}} ]

A ROAS of 4x means that for every dollar spent, four dollars are generated in revenue. Advertisers use ROAS to understand which campaigns drive the most revenue and allocate budgets accordingly.

Understanding POAS

POAS (Profit on Ad Spend) focuses on the profitability of ad spend rather than just revenue. It considers costs like goods, shipping, and transactions to provide a clearer picture of financial health.


[ \text{POAS} = \frac{\text{Gross Profit from Ads}}{\text{Ad Spend}} ]

POAS shows how much profit is made per dollar spent, offering insights into the actual gains from advertising efforts, making it essential for profit analysis.

Core Differences

Focus: ROAS measures revenue, while POAS measures profit. This distinction is critical for understanding true business performance.

Usability: ROAS is simpler to calculate and widely used for initial assessments. POAS requires more detailed data, providing deeper insights into profitability.

Impact: ROAS can mislead if costs are high. POAS offers a more accurate portrayal by including costs, revealing the true profitability of campaigns.

When to Use POAS

POAS is invaluable when detailed profit metrics are required. It helps businesses with thin margins ensure that their advertising spend is actually profitable.

Use Cases:

  • Businesses focusing on net profitability
  • Companies with significant variance in product costs
  • Situations where understanding true ROI is critical for decision-making

Impact on Decision Making

ROAS: Provides a quick view of revenue efficiency and informs budget allocation at a glance. It’s ideal for high-level reporting and making broad budget adjustments.

POAS: Offers in-depth insights into profitability, guiding strategic decisions in marketing and product channels. It helps in refining business goals and ensuring sustainable growth.

Evaluating Marketing Campaigns

For effective campaign evaluation, both POAS and ROAS should be used together. ROAS helps identify high-revenue channels, while POAS confirms their profitability. Example:

  • Campaign A: High ROAS but low POAS due to high costs.
  • Campaign B: Lower ROAS but higher POAS due to better cost management.

This dual approach ensures balanced and informed advertising strategies.

Strategies for Maximising POAS and ROAS

ROAS Strategies:

  • Focus on high-revenue products.
  • Optimise ad targeting to maximise reach.
  • Use dynamic bidding strategies in PPC campaigns.

POAS Strategies:

  • Reduce production and shipping costs.
  • Optimise pricing strategies.
  • Invest in ad spend optimisation tools.

By implementing these strategies, businesses can enhance both revenue generation and profitability, ensuring a balanced and effective marketing approach.