Cosabella is seeing the rewards of investing more in digital marketing with an artificial intelligence platform that’s increased the brand’s sales while reducing advertising costs.
The lingerie company is in the last months of a three-year “transformation strategy” focused on using technology to extend the reach and success of Cosabella’s marketing efforts with the help of a new advertising AI platform, Adgorithms or “Albert,” as it’s referred to by Cosabella.
With the technology, which autonomously executes and largely manages digital brand and marketing efforts, Cosabella said revenues soared in the fourth quarter by 155 percent, driven by more sales in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Germany, France, Canada and the brand’s ancestral home of Italy. Cosabella’s return on ad spending also increased by close to 340 percent.
Albert was deployed late last year (around the same time Cosabella took to another AI platform for insight into customer demands) and its first aim was “identifying and converting high-value audiences” and improving Cosabella’s ad presence on paid searches and social media.
In the first month alone, the technology increased Cosabella’s return on ad spend with social and search platforms by 50 percent, while increasing the actual cost of advertising by 12 percent. By the end of 2016, the brand saw a 37 percent increase in overall web sessions, a 30 percent increase in new users and an additional 1,500 transactions. Cosabella also attributed a 2,000 percent increase in purchases stemming from Facebook ads to Albert’s work.
Courtney Connell, Cosabella’s marketing director, said she wasn’t expecting such “astonishing results” and that on top of improving sales, Albert’s given the company more breathing room when it comes to advertising.
“It’s totally changed the way the [marketing] team works. Instead of focusing on just the big campaigns, we can feed in a bunch of small campaigns for social because we have more time now. We’re more nimble and we can be more experimental as well,” Connell added.
Last year also saw Cosabella end its use of traditional advertising and marketing agencies for its digital marketing efforts after deciding that such manual efforts “weren’t scalable or cost-effective.”
“I would never hire a human to manage the technical aspects of our ad campaigns ever again,” said Cosabella’s chief executive officer, Guido Campello. “We’ll leave the tech stuff to the tech and hire humans for the high-level strategic and creative.”
In terms of cost however, Connell said the expense of using Albert compared to a human advertising team is “about the same,” but she noted the efficiency and constant work rate of Albert, coupled with its success, gets Cosabella much more for its money.
While Albert has only been in use since November, Cosabella is now using Albert for all of its digital marketing, including its current spring and bridal campaigns efforts, and the company has no immediate intention of moving away from artificial intelligence.
The company is training up more and more employees to interface with the technology, in fact, and Connell sees AI as being most successful in freeing up the Cosabella team to “really focus on doing the things they love.”
“A lot of people are terrified of AI, thinking it’s coming to take their jobs, but really I’ve seen the opposite. People have more time to do their jobs better. We haven’t fired anyone because of AI.”
Going forward with Cosabella’s transformation strategy, Connell said the next step is getting the three types of AI being used by the brand to interface with one another and the brand becoming quicker to respond to what it learns from the technology.
“We’re thinking how to take action on all this information [the AI is] giving us so we can test their ideas more quickly.”
For More on AI in Retail, See: