Group Budget Optimization

Group budget optimization (GBO) calculates the potential daily spend of tactics in a group and automatically shifts the budget between them based on performance. With this feature, you no longer have to manually review and adjust the budgets of your live tactics - GBO allocates budgets to the best-performing tactics whenever possible.

When you enable GBO on a live campaign, an algorithm runs in the background to automatically shift and allocate budgets. This algorithm considers both performance (based on the group's KPI) and delivery so that the group still paces property.

There is an initial learning period before GBO takes effect. During this learning period, tactics use the manually configured budget, and the optimizer creates a model based on the tactic performance. GBO starts to reallocate the budget once the tactics hit a minimum threshold of 5 events (such as clicks, conversions, video completes, or acquisitions), $20 in spend, or 10,000 impressions. When it is out of the learning phase, the optimizer calculates new budgets once a day at approximately 1:45 AM EST.

Note: While GBO is in the learning phase, you can still edit tactic budgets. When GBO takes effect, it overrides the budgets you set at the tactic level, and you can no longer edit tactic budgets.

To set up group budget optimization:

  1. Go to a campaign that includes DSP line items.

  2. Edit the line item's group or create a new one.

    Note: The group should include at least two tactics for GBO to serve a purpose and help with budget distribution.

  3. Set up the group's budget and budget type:

    • If the budget is set to All Time, you cannot enable GBO unless you also enable group pacing.
      • If Group Pacing is set to Off, GBO automatically turns off.
    • If the budget is set to Daily, you can use GBO with Group Pacing set to On or Off.
  4. Select On next to Group Budget Optimization to enable it.

  5. Select the Optimization KPI that you want to optimize the group budget for:

    • CPC (Cost-Per-Click)
    • CTR (Click-Through-Rate)
    • Delivery (Impressions)

    Note: Delivery will not work for a setup where a specific tactic must have a mandated minimum spend, because all of the tactics will compete for spend.

  6. Set the Minimum Daily Tactic Budget, which is the minimum amount that GBO can reduce tactic daily budgets to when shifting the budget between tactics. If this is set to $0.00, it can entirely reallocate tactic budgets, and low performing tactics may no longer spend.

    You can set a minimum daily budget for individual tactics in a group in the tactic editor. See General Properties for more information.

    Note: Setting minimum tactic budgets reduces the available group budget, which GBO could otherwise allocate to tactics that have the scale to spend it. The group can underspend if minimum budgets are set and spend does not meet or exceed them.

  7. Finish setting up your group and click Save.

Review a group's optimization type and status in Analytics. When the optimization type is GBO, you'll see a column called GBO Daily Budget for that group's tactics. This column shows Learning if the optimizer is still in learning mode. When it creates a model, this column displays the effective budget that the optimizer determined for that tactic.

Important Notes

Low Scale: GBO does not and cannot impact scale unless the budget restricts it. If your tactic is suffering from low scale (unrelated to the total budget), you should modify the tactic's settings.

Significant Increase in Scale: If you see a significant increase in scale for specific tactics, we recommend setting a minimum budget at the tactic level to force GBO to catch up to the new scale.

Pacing: GBO relies on DSP pacing. If your tactic strategy does not work well with pacing, it will likely not work with GBO.

Day Parting: GBO does not account for dayparting. Using GBO and dayparting together results in underspend.

Short Flight Dates: Due to the learning period required for GBO to optimize group budgets, we do not recommend using GBO for groups with short flight dates.

Accounting for CPM: If you notice that GBO favors high-CPM tactics, we recommend manually adjusting CPM bid ranges or adding a minimum budget to the tactics that you want to allocate more of the budget to.

Copying Groups: A copy of a group does not include its optimized budgets if the original group uses GBO. Manually enter the optimized budgets in the copy and turn on GBO so that it can re-learn for the new group.


Why is the Effective Budget higher than my group's total budget?

GBO creates projections for a tactic's potential spend. As with any projection, there is a level of uncertainty, and as a result GBO provides a buffer among campaigns in the group to that it reaches its spend. Group pacing and daily group budgets will always be respected. In other words, the total sum of the effective budgets for tactics will be greater than the daily group budget or group pacing, but actual spend should exceed them.

Can I use group budget optimization with machine learning optimization (MLO) or algorithmic optimization (AO)?

Algorithmic optimization and group budget optimization should not interfere with each other, but there may be conflict between GBO and machine learning optimization. For example, MLO may lower the volume for one of the tactics in a group, so GBO would be stuck in learning mode for that tactic. In this case, we recommend adjusting the tactic's settings to create more reach, increasing the minimum daily tactic budgets, or turning off GBO. If you use GBO and MLO, both features should target the same KPI.

Why can I still adjust my tactic's budget?

When you enable GBO for a group, all of the tactics require a learning period before an effective budget is available. You should manually set a budget for the tactics to use during this learning period.

What happens if my tactics are set up for one KPI, but GBO has been set for a different KPI?

When using GBO, we strongly recommend that the KPI you select for the group aligns with the KPI for each tactic. For example, if you enable GBO and select CTR, build all of the group's tactics with CTR as their goal.

What happens if GBO allocates the budget to a tactic that does not have enough volume to hit the daily spend?

GBO applies a buffer to ensure that if tactics do not meet the daily effective budget, other tactics in the group will make up for it. If spend is not met even with this buffer, GBO will take this into account and reallocate the budget accordingly.

Note that GBO will not solve delivery issues across the entire group if the majority or all tactics are experiencing issues.

How does GBO respond if I increase the budget and extend the flight dates?

Whenever you change flight dates, GBO automatically adjusts the effective budget by the remaining days left in flight. This also occurs when you change the group budget.

To optimize a tactic, GBO requires a minimum amount of data for each tactic. Currently, the optimzer requires 5 events, $20 in spend, or 10,000 impressions to begin calculating new tactic budgets.