Insights

Driving costs down, automatically ~7 min

How Aitarget and iProspect harnessed automatic bid and ad budget rules to reduce CPM by 28% while growing reach by a third for the M.Video consumer electronics retail chain

In the competitive world of the Facebook ad auction, when things get heated up CPM can vary greatly within one ad campaign. Our experience shows that for three quarters of Aitarget customers, the lower and upper CPM limits may differ by 500-700%.

So how can you help control your costs and optimise your bid in such an environment?

The answer is automation. By using a tunnel automation strategy you can set maximum and minimum bids and/or budgets and ensure your campaign stays within these limits.

Switching from manual to automatic allowed Aitarget client M.Video to drive their CPM down to a lower and more stable level throughout an advertising campaign, while also growing their reach by more than a third. How’d we do it? Let’s take a look at their journey.

Making a better impression

When advertising on social media, M.Video - Russia’s largest consumer electronics and home appliance retail chain - wanted to focus on growing sales and maximising ad impressions and branding. Building uniform audience reach and optimising purchases with a certain frequency of ad impressions was important. M.Video’s goals were to show an ad to an audience several times, while maintaining CPM within its KPI; to optimise the cost of purchase by at least 6%; and to get wider reach without having to increase its budget.

For these ad campaigns, there was no fixed cost of purchase: the minimum and maximum CPM values for the KPI differed by 4 times for Instagram and by 1.5 times for Facebook.

The iProspect international agency launched two campaigns with video creatives for M.Video: the first for Facebook (Feed, Instant Articles, In-Stream Video) and Audience Network placements; the other for Instagram Feed and Stories.

Reach was chosen as a target, and several ad sets were launched with audiences selected according to CRM or interest in certain goods or types of sales (cashback, coupons, discounts).

Both campaigns were run for 18 days in July, using Aitarget automations to enhance performance. The automatic bid and budget rules linked changes in CPM and impressions to bid behaviour. For example, if the values set for CPM were exceeded, the bid was automatically reduced, and vice versa. This resulted in more impressions at a price favorable to M.Video, and allowed more control over any CPM growth.

Automation rules for M.Video

With the year-on-year growth of auctions on ad platforms, the issue of minimising the cost of media purchase with effective targeting is high on the agenda,” says Aleksandr Maslin, Targeted Advertising Group Head at iProspect. “The human factor doesn’t always help respond to the situation at the auction quickly. That’s why together with our colleagues from Aitarget, we set up the use of automation tunnel strategy for M.Video and made the purchase more effective.

Course correcting on campaigns

The ability to harness automation thanks to Aitarget delivered significant results for M.Video. Compared to the defined KPIs, automation quickly reduced CPM in Facebook ads by 28%, and in Instagram ads by 26%. Those benefits were retained throughout the campaign.

“The use of automation let us get more sustainable results from campaign to campaign and plan the KPIs of our ad activities more accurately,” says Pavel Ivanov, Digital Marketing Manager at M.Video. “For the first test, we took the minimum CPM values of the previous campaigns as a benchmark. Applying tunnel strategy, we managed to reduce the CPM by 26% to 28% and increase the reach by approximately 35%–38%. Moreover, even in high season, when the auction is warmed up to the maximum, we were able to repeat the result achieved, which proved the effectiveness of the tool. We intend to continue working with the Aitarget automation. We’ve got positive results with broad targeting and geo so far. The next step is to do tests with short periods of 2–4 days and limited geo/super geolocations.”
Along with the reduction in CPM, Facebook impressions rose by 38% while CPC fell by 25%, and Instagram impressions went up by 31.5%. Overall, M.Video saved 32% on its budget for Facebook advertising and 25% for its Instagram advertising, and reached far more people.

Roman Grishayev, Account Manager at Aitarget, recommends that companies use the tunnel automation strategy if they’re looking to reduce CPM and CPC while scaling their advertising campaigns.

“For example, for M.Video, we managed to buy 38% more impressions with the same budget thanks to automation,” says Grishayev. “In general, in the context of the constant bid growth on social media, automation - which lets you reduce the cost of purchase - becomes the most effective budget management tool. The tool allows you to set any rules of bid and budget behavior, correlate conditions logically with operators ‘and’ and ‘or’, as well as add marks to create several levels of rules.”