Advantage+ Shopping vs Standard Campaigns: Rivalry or Alliance?

In August of 2022, META released Advantage+ Shopping (ASC), their newest campaign type powered by AI and machine learning. Here at adMixt, we were early adopters of ASC and are the 2nd largest buyer of ASC campaigns compared to all agencies.  Many advanced media buyers have their doubts when it comes to AI and machine learning driven campaigns. However, we firmly believe in a test-and-learn approach, so these are the questions we sought to answer: 

Questions we had early on:

  1. How much of our budget should be in ASC? 
  2. Are standard BAU (Business As Usual) campaigns with targeting still relevant? 
  3. What will the use case of ASC be? Creative testing? Full funnel? 
  4. What percentage of retention should be included in ASC?

Now almost a year in, the vision we initially had for ASC has changed quite a bit. We have honed in on the do’s and don’ts of the product and how it works alongside the tried and true standard BAU campaigns. 

What is the state of ASC vs BAU now?

Key QoQ Metrics: 

  1. ASC spend increase 11% QoQ, Standard decreased 34% 
  2. ASC CPMs dropped 9%, Standard increased 4%
  3. ASC last click CPAs increased 8%, Standard dropped 5%

Takeaways: Our clients’ ASC adoption rate is much higher QoQ. We are shifting budget into ASC while maintaining a healthy balance of Standard campaigns for efficiency purposes. Cheaper CPMs on ASC are likely a factor of the algorithm gaining more signals from the broad audience ASC works off of. 

So, how do you strategically utilize ASC and Standard campaigns? 

Advantage+ Shopping

  1. Test attribution windows on ASC until one backs out into your source of truth.
  2. Push hero products/best sellers to their full capacity. 
  3. Scale for tent pole moments.
    1. ASC can handle dramatic budget shifts for new product launches and promos. 
  4. Load up the campaign with top creatives and winning assets.
    1. New creatives will not get scale in ASC as this product is working on machine learning and conversions. 
  5. Include 5-10% retention budget.
    1. ASC will not spend over your designated retention budget, but it is important to include a portion of spend to this audience if you can as it helps the algorithm gain more momentum and signals.

Standard BAU 

  1. Audience testing is still imperative to efficient account performance. Continue audience testing within Standard campaigns.
  2. Creative testing is hard to navigate in ASC as new ads struggle to get spend. Utilize your standard campaigns to test into new products or creative formats. 
  3. Efficiency at scale.
    1. The ability to adjust bids, placement, targeting and budget within these campaigns is crucial to leaning into pockets of efficiency. ASC is a set-it-and-forget-it approach which can lead to volume, but does not allow efficiency. 
  4. Mid and High Funnel optimizations are not currently available for ASC. It is important to keep these running within your Standard campaign setup. 

Advantage+ Shopping campaigns have been a very valuable tool for many advertisers and we continue to see scale out of these campaigns. We are currently seeing our brands sit close to a 50/50 split between ASC and standard campaigns. In Q3, we don’t anticipate ASC scaling further as volatility within the campaigns is a frequent issue. Therefore it is important we keep our standard campaigns scaled to soften the blow when ASC performance is weaker. 

Reach out if you’d like to learn more about how we are strategically structuring our accounts!

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