Facebook Campaigns May Be Moving to Autopilot, But They Will Still Need Refueling

. 2 min read

Written by: Tom Murray | Managing Director, Agency

With Facebook’s news release that Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) will be required as of September 2019, they are embracing automation more than they ever have before. Facebook thinks that system can move budgets around better than human media buyers, which in many cases may be correct. Of course, there are going to be times where a human has extra context than the computer and will make a better decision. The point of this article though isn’t to debate human optimization vs algorithmic optimization, though that can be another topic for another day! This post relates to how while campaigns may become more automated, they will still need to stop for fuel. Whether you view a campaign and its corresponding ad sets as an airplane, a race car, or anything with wheels that moves (even a Tesla) will need to be refueled or recharged.

In this case, the ad creatives are the fuel to the campaigns and ad sets. If you let Facebook auto-optimize, but get lazy and leave the same creative in there, performance will naturally go down. With this new change, there will be less time being spent optimizing at the ad level, and this means that instead of banking that time, it should be re-used for optimizing at the ad level instead.

Focusing in on what creatives are working and not working will be the number one thing that media buyers will need to look at in order to keep performance strong and to keep scaling budgets. I fear that many advertisers will get lazier in their campaigns, similar to the fear that self-driving cars will cause people to get lazy behind the wheel and not pay attention.

This can potentially have two negative effects. First, clients will see their performance go down IF they do not keep their campaigns fueled with new creatives, and that leads into the second effect which is client may start to have a negative view of Facebook performance and lose trust in Facebook as a performance channel.

CBO is supposed to help advertisers, similar to how Google budget’s system helps search buyers. It doesn’t mean you can start to be complacent though – there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure campaign success!