• 47% decrease in CPA
  • Conversions increase 90%

A Little Background

Chain Reaction Cycles (CRC) is one of the world’s largest online bike shops. The CRC journey began in 1984 as a small family business in Northern Ireland, serving and supporting local cyclists. It’s been an incredible ride so far, with the company growing to over 450 cyclists, swimmers, runners, and passionate professionals supporting a global community of cycle and multi-sport athletes. In addition to cycling goods, Chain Reaction sells triathlon equipment, swimming products, and casual sports / outdoor apparel.

Marin allows us to optimise budget and campaign performance without the need for constant monitoring and manual campaign amends. Allowing us to focus on higher-level coordination as opposed to hands-on tasks involved in running a successful promotion. Having a single access portal to view and manage campaigns across multiple accounts and markets has been extremely helpful for us as a business which works across multiple countries and currencies at any one time. From the tool we have seen impressive results which we may not have achieved without using this.

Holly Welsh
Group Online Campaigns Manager at Chain Reaction

The Challenge

Chain Reaction Cycles continues to expand across global markets and benefit from the increasing popularity of cycling, all while promoting over 500 brands in its catalog. On top of such rising interest and rapid growth, the team tasked with driving volume found it difficult to properly manage a complicated promotional matrix where multiple sales are running simultaneously, across anywhere from six to 12 countries and time zones. As an example, a sale may be a 20% discount in the UK, but 10% in the US. The activation/evergreen times are all different, and then factor in nuances to creative copy for language and positioning—and, of course, the core duty to deliver results to hundreds of vendors who count on CRC to sell its product.

There was also the critically important task of allocating budgets to the most effective audience at any given time, across multiple interest-targeted and lookalike audiences. CRC sought a tool that would reduce manual optimization work on the account, and help them shift and reallocate budgets effectively across their Facebook audiences. The main goal was maximizing volume while reducing cost per acquisition. This was an important midsummer clearance campaign, and they needed to sell as much as possible to seize the opportunity while keeping costs low.


The CRC team applied Automatic Budget Allocation for Marin Social to automatically redistribute budgets in real time. The budget algorithm allocated ad spend between interest-targeted and lookalike ad sets based on which were performing the best. This freed up the CRC team to plan for emerging markets and focus on efforts like strategic copy testing.

Additionally, the simple yet powerful bulk creator enabled the team to quickly create multiple ad variations targeting multiple audience segments at the same time. Uploading within a single portal helped the team keep messaging consistent and created a cohesive voice around a sale while maintaining nuances to each market.


After turning on Budget Allocation, conversions for the UK accounts increased by 90% relative to the the prior two months. At the same time, CPA was down by 47%. With such high volume in the spring/summer months as cyclists are gearing up for the riding season, the ability to automatically shift budgets between campaigns where they’re most effective is (unsurprisingly) very useful. Though sometimes difficult to quantify, the time saved by leveraging automation for budget allocation was substantial and allowed the team to focus on more strategic directives (and, the occasional break or late lunch).