If you followed social media marketing news recently, you might have seen the term CBO, or “Campaign Budget Optimization” pop up here and there. The feature appeared a few months ago for advertisers, and Facebook announced in March that it would roll out definitely for all campaigns in September.
What does it mean exactly? Historically, advertisers had the possibility to split their budgets on ad sets, where they could select specific audiences, placements and schedules under the umbrella of a unified campaign with a common objective. This allowed for experts and campaign managers to allocate media budget on each of these ad sets, and modify these budgets according to performance. CBO is Facebook’s way of automating this process, basically letting its algorithms do the job for you, (and better than you, in their opinion).
This is in line with the current direction of the ad platform, which favors data synchronisation, automation, and bigger audience pools to maximize performance as opposed to what advertisers were focused in the past: precise and defined targeting, coupled with analysis and manual optimization.
Experts still have mixed feelings regarding this fundamental shift. Some are very satisfied with the results while others had campaigns underperforming after activating CBO. As a general rule, for large audiences and prospection, CBO usually brings better results, but when performance was good with small budgets and very specific targeting, the switch had a negative impact on results.
Facebook still has a couple of months to iron out its solution, but whether they like it or not, advertisers will have to domesticate the new method, since Facebook will enforce the switch. Note however that it will still be possible to limit spent on specific ad sets, so the hackers and fine tuners among us will probably manage to circumvent the limitations.
« CBO represents an opportunity for advertisers to achieve results without having to test extensively to find performing audiences. But the solution requires enough data for the Facebook algorithms to work properly, so sorting and syncing your first party data will be more important than ever if you want to achieve a stable return on investment on Facebook. » Antoine Struelens, our Head of Social.