How Do I Set Campaign Budget and Pacing?

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The Editor
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XPO lets you control campaign budget (as granular as per minute level) and the speed at which the budget should be spent or essentially how ad spaces being bid, i.e. pacing. The pacing can be preset using a fixed schedule or tapping on our "smarter" dynamic pacing, where the rate of bidding is flexibly adjusted to achieve smoother and optimal performance goals


How to Set Budget and Pacing in XPO?

1. From the campaign dashboard, click +Ad Group to set up an ad group.


2. Under Budget, indicate your budget and KPIs, and select your desired pacing option and settings. See below for detailed configurations.


A. Pacing Options

  1. DAILY: Budget is divided to be spent according to the daily budget cap and is reset daily.

  2. FLIGHT: Budget is divided to be spent over the lifetime of the campaign. Campaign is stopped once budget is exhausted or it reaches the campaign end date, whichever occurs earlier. 

B. Pacing Settings




Fixed Schedule Pacing

  • EVEN: Budget is equally divided for every minute over the campaign duration.
      • E.g. ad group budget = $10,000, budget spent = $2,000, and the ad group has additional 16,000 minutes to bid.
        Pacing amount = ($10,000 - $2,000) / 16,000 mins = $0.5 per minute
      • E.g. daily budget = $2,000, budget spent = $1000, and the ad group is planned to bid 1,000 minutes more for the same day.
        Pacing amount = ($2,000 - $1,000) / 1,000 mins = $1 per minute
  • ASAP: Budget is expended as soon as possible. Bidding will accelerate at a multiplier of 10 times pacing value as compared to EVEN.
      • E.g. ad group budget = $10,000 and duration is 3 months to execute this ad group strategy. XPO will spend the entire $10,000 in first few days if inventory is sufficient.
      • E.g. daily budget = $2,000, XPO will spend the entire $2,000 in the first few hours of the day.


Smart Pacing


Fixed-schedule pacing relies on predefined rules to divide budget evenly over time or in the shortest time.

Smart pacing tries to be more dynamic to adapt to the changing environment. No single pacing setting is the best, hence, depending on the situation, choosing one pacing setting over the other may work better.

Smart Pacing works by optimizing strategies at ad group level:

  • For a fixed priced ad group strategy: the goal is to spend according to schedule, with a secondary aim to improve engagement/clicks as we bid for high-quality inventory
  • For an auto-optimization ad group strategy towards a pre-defined KPI: It works to ensure pacing is adaptive to the market and tailored towards KPI at the ad group level, while not violating budget constraints
  • FLIGHT-SMART: Budget fluctuates during ad group lifetime, while keeping track of total budget spend not exceeding the total budget cap.

  • DAILY-SMART: Budget fluctuates during the day. The total budget spend on that day must not exceed the daily budget cap of the day (must specify the Daily Budget).

C. Pacing Status

From XPO, you can visually analyze the status of your budget pacing. This is based on your daily budget spend to help identify whether your campaign/ ad group is performing (a) On Target - within the budget, (b) Under pacing - under the budget, or (c) Over pacing - over the budget.

Pacing Status Colour Indication On Spend Bar  Reason 

(a) On Target

Daily spend is considered to be at normal pacing and within your target

  • On target = actual total spend > 90% of expected spend AND/OR actual total spend < 110% of expected spend
  • Lies between 91% - 110%



(b) Under Pacing

Daily spend is underperforming and budget pacing is lagging. 

under pacing = actual total spend < 90% of expected spend

  • When campaign/ad group is under pacing but pacing % is greater than 20%
  • Lies between 21% - 90%



  • When campaign/ad group is under pacing but pacing % is less than 20%
  • Lies between 20% and below



(c) Over Pacing

Daily spend on the budget is moving faster than the required target.

over pacing = actual total spend > 110% of expected spend


  • When campaign/ad group is over pacing but pacing % is less than 120%
  • Lies between 111% - 120%



  • When campaign/ad group is over pacing but pacing % is greater than 120%
  • Lies between 121% and above




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