POV: Facebook Campaign Budget Optimisation


Facebook has announced that all existing and new ad campaigns will run with Campaign Budget Optimisation (CBO) from September 2019. Facebook campaigns are structured in three levels:

Campaign: Containing one or more Ad Sets and Ads. Allowing you to choose one ad objective for each of your campaigns.

Ad Set: Containing one or more Ads. Allowing you to define your targeting, budget, schedule, bidding and placement at the Ad Set level.

Ad: The creative you use.

Advertisers can currently allocate budget at Ad Set level, however once the change comes into effect, budgets will be moved to Campaign level allowing Facebook’s algorithm to automatically distribute budget to the best performing Ad Sets.

Details and Implications:

Whilst Campaign Budget Optimisation has been available since 2017, it has so far been an optional setting to control budget at Campaign level. From September, this feature will be default, simplifying the approach to the campaign management process through the allocation of budget at Campaign level only. In its announcement, Facebook said: “you'll be able to set one central campaign budget for all your ad sets and we'll automatically and continuously distribute that budget in real time to your top-performing ad sets”.

From Facebook’s perspective, enforcing Campaign Budget Optimisation at Campaign level is a move to “help you spend your budget more efficiently” and ultimately generate better results at a lower cost. Facebook reports that advertisers such as BuzzFeed have tested the optimisation tool and achieved greater cost efficiencies alongside easier budget management. This is generally supported by tests done by GroupM teams in the region, with double digit % cost efficiencies in some cases.

However, despite the benefits, this will likely be a major change to current ways of working for advertisers. The move will see Facebook controlling more of the optimisation process whilst decreasing levels of control from advertisers who will only be able to set minimum and maximum spend limits at Ad Set level. Advertisers will need to place trust in Facebook’s automated budget allocations to deliver efficient results or alternatively transition to creating separate campaigns for each Ad Set if a ringfenced budget allocation is needed. Facebook is also encouraging a shift to focus on Campaign level metrics rather than Ad Set level, to best analyse campaign performance.


The move represents a further shift away from manual involvement from advertisers. Whilst it may require time to adjust to this new protocol, we expect that Campaign Budget Optimisation will ultimately make the campaign management process more efficient. By reducing the time spent making manual optimisations across Ad Set budgets, advertisers are likely to see stronger and more cost-efficient results. Advertisers are advised to begin testing Campaign Budget Optimisation sooner rather than later before it becomes default.

Further Reading:

Marketing Land / Martech Today / Facebook Business