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Cosabella replaced their marketing agency with AI

“Albert was there, managing everything perfectly."

Happy “Friday Junior,” Collaborators!

It is scorching hot on the East Coast right now. We’re trying to cool down with a new case study that blends traditional Italian craftsmanship with the latest marketing technology, and a tip to get ChatGPT to write punnier content.

Grab a cold beverage (and one for me too, please) and join us!


The bad puns in this newsletter are entirely created by humans. Our apologies.


Cosabella replaced their marketing agency with AI

The Italian countryside with a stone village in the foreground and mountains in the background..

Classic, made-in-Italy style.

Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat on Black Friday Eve?

It’s a holiday tradition for retail marketers.

Will we max our budget? Will our campaigns stop running? Will we hit our sales targets?

Courtney Connell, the Marketing Director at Cosabella, was no exception. On this particular Black Friday, however, Connell went right back to sleep.

The Brand: Classic Style, Modern Marketing

Just a few months before, Connell could never have predicted that Black Friday would have gone so smoothly.

Cosabella (“beautiful thing” in Italian), is a luxury lingerie brand that was founded in 1983. From the beginning, they have focused on classic, made-in-Italy craftsmanship.

However, in marketing, Cosabella has never been content with following the old ways.

When the first online message boards went mainstream in the 1990s, Cosabella co-founder Valeria Campello joined them. She chatted with women anonymously about how Cosabella eliminates visible panty lines, with the username “NoMoreVPL.”

When retail conferences began to buzz about new AI technologies, Cosabella seized a new marketing opportunity.

The Challenge: Flattening Sales

As AI technologies began to take the retail world by storm, the Cosabella team was losing patience with the company’s marketing agency. The in-house team found communicating about their brand with the agency to be “time-consuming and difficult.”

After years of double-digit quarterly growth, the company experienced a flat quarter.

Campello told Entrepreneur Magazine that he was tired of spending money on agency campaigns that did not measure results objectively.

The team took a bold step to restore sales growth. They replaced their marketing agency with Albert, an enterprise AI marketing platform that can manage paid search, social, and programmatic campaigns.

The Solution: Albert

The team’s first priority was determining whether Albert could identify and convert high-value audiences for Cosabella.

Albert analyzed Cosabella’s user behaviors across its paid campaigns, focusing on KPIs set by the marketing team. It produced suggestions to optimize performance and scale campaigns. Then, it automatically executed on them. After spending a few weeks optimizing Cosabella’s campaigns, Albert began creating its own campaigns using the company’s creative.

Albert’s Insights

Albert also provided the team with key insights on creative performance.

As one example, Albert conducted multiple tests to identify the best Facebook ad creative for the brand. It revealed that Cosabella’s Facebook ads should be short (around 10 seconds), with beautiful imagery. The typical format was three seconds highlighting a product, and six seconds showing how it was made.

After determining that images with people performed 50% better, Albert asked the team for more creatives with humans modeling the products.

Albert’s data-backed insights drove real results. Cosabella’s return on ad spend (ROAS) for Facebook ads increased 565% in the first month. After implementing Albert, Cosabella has seen a 2,000% lift in purchases from Facebook.

The Results

Implementing Albert led to a 155% increase in revenue for Cosabella, and a 336% ROAS. The company’s customer base increased by 30%.

Cosabella immediately began looking at other places where they could implement AI in their customer journey. The team talks about Albert like a valued coworker.

The Takeaway

Testing is everything in paid search and social. The more you test your ad creatives, audiences, and formats, the more likely you are to boost your performance.

If you are not taking a data-driven approach to search and social media advertising, an AI tool may help you test creative faster and get better results.

Albert was able to beat a traditional marketing agency on performance, but not on cost. Cosabella paid 18% of their monthly spend to use Albert. That is more expensive than some of the best startup-focused marketing agencies.

If platforms like Albert and Smartly.io are out of budget, there are a few emerging startups in the space (like Exod) that automate account management for specific channels. Meta and Google are also introducing new AI tools that will help simplify campaign management and measurement to free up your team for more impactful work.


Create more entertaining advertising with AI

The stereotype of AI content is that it can sound. . .well. . . robotic.

However, AI can create entertaining, irreverent, even funny ads. It just needs a bit of help.

I must admit I was skeptical that AI could create a genuinely funny ad, but I laughed out loud at the copy ChatGPT generated in response to this prompt.

Act as if you are a marketing expert trying to come up with a unique campaign for a company that [brief description of company’s key value proposition]. The audience is [audience demographic], and their biggest challenge that the problem solves is [problem]. How could you present this challenge and solution in an entertaining/funny way in a Facebook ad?