Facebook’s Campaign Budget Optimisation: if not now, when?


In February this year, Facebook announced that Campaign Budget Optimisation, or CBO, their solution to dynamically move budgets between AdSets within a campaign, was due to be compulsory “by September 2019”. 

That no longer appears to be the case. So, what’s the status of CBO now that we are half-way through September?

Facebook Campaign Budget Optimisation Timeline - Bionic.png

Recap on Facebook’s CBO

Back in July, we wrote about some of the concerns our clients expressed with this imposed change.  Some of the concerns we heard were:

  • I’ve had the same campaign template for years, can I continue to “clone” it every month or do I need to start from scratch with a multi-campaign structure?

  • I have an evergreen campaign that is always on? What will happen to my budgets?

But the most common question we in Bionic were asked was; 

  • If I use CBO, can I have any manual control over spend for individual Ad Sets within a larger campaign? 

The only obvious solution to retain control over spend on an Ad Set in a campaign appeared to be; don’t create those sorts of Ad Sets! If you want control, just create individual campaigns.  This suggestion missed the operational overhead in restructuring, managing and optimising potentially dozens of existing and new campaigns which many advertisers view as simply not a viable solution.

Bionic to the rescue

Bionic rose to the challenge. We released a solution; Auto-Budget Reallocation (ABR) for CBO.  With the introduction of CBO, Facebook exposed new fields called Minimum and Maximum Ad Set Spend Limits. These fields live at Ad Set level but specifying either (or both) allows you to retain control over what a specific Ad Set spends within a campaign.  Important; Facebook also say they do not guarantee this amount will be spent. 

So in a scenario where advertisers want to retain Ad Set budgets, they can specify their required Ad Set budgets within Bionic’s ABR as the minimum and maximum lifetime/daily spends. Bionic will then maintain this and automatically manage the bid (Auto Bid) to ensure the budget is spent in full. Bionic's Auto Pause feature, continues to enable you to automatically pause the worst performing ads within a given Ad Set, thus ensuring the bids are being utilised by the best-qualified ads only.

If advertisers are open to budgets being reallocated to the best-performing Ad Sets, Bionic’s ABR works on top on Facebook’s CBO guiding the spend per Ad Set using spend limits and dynamically adjusts the spend limits at Ad Set levels. Again this along with Auto Bid and Auto Pause, Bionic can ensure optimal budget spend.

With this new solution, based on our 5+ years of budget optimisation product development experience, advertisers can dynamically optimise these values in tandem with CBO, allowing them to make the most of the structures they have and to make the transition to CBO as painless as possible.  So, no need to create dozens of new campaigns just because you want to manage the spend on a particular Ad Set!

In addition, Bionic uniquely enables advertisers to automatically adjust Facebook Ad Set bid and budget strategies towards performance signals that live outside Facebook; such as Google Campaign Manager cross-platform attribution data. 

So what has changed?

The actual deadline for the compulsory introduction of CBO now appears to be unclear and there have been suggestions by some industry commentators that CBO-only campaign creation will be delayed until some point in 2020.

The truth is somewhat more nuanced.  According to Facebook support, migration to CBO-only will begin in September HOWEVER this only applies to ad accounts that only use Facebook’s “native” Ad Manager interface.  So if you use a Facebook Marketing Partner that uses the Facebook Marketing API to create campaigns (like Bionic) the migration to CBO-only will start at some point in 2020. The start and end dates of this second wave of migration have not been announced. 

What does this change mean for you?

We recommend coming to terms with the fact that CBO-only campaigns are coming and plan accordingly, but the good news is, we have you covered in any scenario; 

  • If you still have the ability to create non-CBO campaigns in Ads Manager, you can continue to import into Bionic and we will dynamically full-funnel optimise your campaign.

  • You created a CBO campaign but want to “ring-fence” spend on specific Ad Sets?  Use Bionic’s Auto Budget Reallocation with CBO to maximise performance and retain control of spend.

  • Want to create new campaigns but without CBO?  Use the Bionic’s bridge for Google; we build campaigns using the marketing api, meaning CBO isn’t compulsory!

Download our report to find out more:

Campaign Budget Optimisation Facebook Bionic

Facebook Campaign Budget Optimisation 2019

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Keith O'Reilly