Marketing can be overwhelming. These days, it seems it’s changing by the minute. 

As a business owner, where do you start? How do you determine what you’re going to get out of a particular marketing strategy, and what’s worth doing? Many business owners say, “Alright, if I spend a dollar, what am I going to get back, and when am I going to get it?” But it’s not that simple these days.

Today, marketing is less about return on investment and more about return on exposure.

Return on Investment vs. Return on Exposure

Understanding the difference between these two concepts is pivotal to a successful marketing mindset. Return on investment asks the question, “What am I going to get out of this particular action?” But return on exposure asks, “What is the game I’m even playing? What is my big picture goal?”

Success will look different for every business. That’s why this is where we usually begin with our clients: if we did X or Y and got these particular results, would that be “successful” for your business? What is success for you in particular? What does it look like? Then we build off those things.

Return on exposure is bigger than specific objectives—it focuses on the core goals of your business, on crafting a reputation, and on getting your message out there so that you stay top of mind with your ideal clients.

Exposure: Redefining the Win

Think about the amount of advertising that comes across us every single day as we go about our lives– it’s a constant flow of messaging. This is why marketing has changed so much from that of the past: it’s no longer as simple as one phone call or showing up at someone’s door. In today’s world, your business may have to “touch” a potential client (reach them with your messaging and/or interact in some way) ten to fifteen times for them to even take an action as simple as responding to an email—and that’s not even necessarily a sale. 

This is the difference between very successful businesses today and those who just survive. Successful businesses decide to intentionally “touch” customers on a regular basis, so they will stay top of mind. They craft exposure.

Yet many business owners make the mistake of focusing only on the sale.

Exposure can’t always be measured in immediate sales—but the right moments captured can result in massive boost of your visibility as people view, engage with, and share your content. That’s a win. You can’t pay to buy those perfect exposure moments – you have to invest in creating the content and putting yourself in the sphere that captures some of those key shareable moments. 

Staying top of mind constantly is key. And this is more about building a reputation than the hard core sales tactics we’re used to.


Exposure = Reputation Management

When we say “reputation management,” most people think about reviews on Google, Yelp, etc. – and that is a part of it. But reputation is really about that sea of content, being visible at key moments, the evergreen nature of your posts, what you become known for – it’s about managing your reputation by curating your content in an ongoing, intentional way. It’s about branding.

A content schedule is not just about posting. Are you engaging? Is it a two-way dialogue? Or are you just throwing stuff out there?  It’s important to be intentional, and to realize that every interaction builds your reputation. Think of crafting your brand to communicate that you’re a business who truly cares about its clients. It’s not just about what you’re posting, but how you’re making your audience feel

To quote Maya Angelou: “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is the power of using exposure to intentionally craft a reputation.



  • Focusing on “Exposure” as a key metric is game-changing. Focus on building reputation, not just reviews, but what you’re known for, those experiences. This is all part of your branding.
  • Focus on how you make people feel, not just the services you offer. 
  • Learn how to celebrate the small moments, not just the “win” at the end. 
  • Focus on driving engagement—taking experience from being a transaction to another level, an engagement opportunity.  

Need help with your creative content, branding, advertising, marketing, or just someone to help you figure out the steps of how to get started or what to do next? Contact us! We’re a marketing and branding agency in Tampa. It’s what we do.

In the next blog, we’ll get deeper into Reputation, including how to find your niche, and what methods of Exposure we recommend for a small business to invest in first if marketing budget is limited.


Note: This blog post is a summary of the main ideas from CCS Marketing’s “Return on Exposure” video, not a transcript. For full details, examples, and explanations, be sure to watch the video! CCS Marketing is a branding agency in Tampa, FL.