In this series, The Fix, Entrepreneur Associate Editor Lydia Belanger shares her conversations with founders and executives whose solutions to inefficiencies can inspire others to find new ways to save themselves time, money or hassle.

Lingerie brand Cosabella has long experimented with up-and-coming technologies to get the word out about its products. When online message boards became popular in the ‘90s, founder Valeria Campello created the username “NoMoreVPL” and anonymously conversed with women, praising Cosabella’s thong underwear for its ability to eliminate visible panty lines. Her efforts paid off: Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Winona Ryder were soon wearing them.

Today, Cosabella is after the next tech-driven revelations. The 34-year-old company, which previously focused on manufacturing and wholesale, is now investing heavily in direct-to-consumer retailing and marketing. CEO Guido Campello, Valeria’s son, says the brand’s goal is to “look just as sexy, just as lucrative and just as ‘startup’” as the latest, buzzy players in women’s fashion. To do so, Cosabella had to find a way to adapt its digital marketing strategy — and quickly.

Related: The Family Behind Luxury Lingerie Business Cosabella

“When it came to ad spend, which is one of the most basic principles of building customer lifetime value and driving customers, we needed something that could do that for us in a very efficient manner, do it based on its success and know that its success was efficient,” says Campello, adding the company was sick of spending money on agency-driven ad campaigns that weren’t able to objectively measure results.

Cosabella realized it needed a computer, not humans, to tell it how to look, what to say and where to put its dollars.

The fix

The Cosabella team had been to a handful of retail and ecommerce conferences where artificial intelligence (AI) had been a hot topic. They heard about how smaller brands were beginning to use AI for consumer targeting to keep up with massive online retailers such as Amazon.

So after hearing about Albert, an artificial intelligence marketing platform that works across all channels, including search, mobile, social and display, they decided to give it a shot.

By implementing Albert, Cosabella’s in-house content creation team was able to quickly test ads and immediately swap them out or make edits to them if they’re not getting people’s attention. Employees could now test multiple pieces of content at a time, across different channels or even different countries, then present the results in an organized way that’s easy for humans to digest visually. That way, people who create ad campaigns or even products can spend their time creating, not analyzing.

“We’re able to say, look, this worked well, let’s go ahead and run it for five more days or six more days, or, let’s give it a subcategory or focus it,” Campello says. “There’s so much that you can test on how you’re getting your message across. It’s really A/B testing for marketing but to the minute.”

More importantly, Albert doesn’t just tell Cosabella what’s working. It makes thousands of decisions a day —  everything from email newsletters to search engine optimization — without consulting any human at the company. This might mean Albert halts one digital campaign and throws money at another. The human team, meanwhile, is able to monitor Albert make adjustments if desired.

Campello also emphasizes that, contrary to what some might expect, the AI platform wasn’t too time consuming to implement or too technical for Cosabella’s existing employees to manage.

“I didn’t need, you know, 150 hours of training, where the team had to sit in a room with a consultant and then have so many calls. It was very fluid and easy,” Campello says. “It’s really something that, if it was affordable enough, and you were selling jam out of your kitchen, you would want to use it and you could use it. You literally could find the ability to apply it and still do everything else you do during the day.”

Campello says Cosabella is spending about the same amount of money on Albert as it used to pay the digital ad agency Albert replaced — and getting a lot more for its money.

Image Credit: Cosabella

The Albert interface allows Cosabella to test and monitor the performance of multiple digital ads simultaneously.

The results

Cosabella quantifies Albert’s effectiveness in terms of return on ad spend (ROAS). In the company’s first month using the platform, Albert increased Cosabella’s ROAS for social media and search by 50 percent while decreasing the total amount spent on ads by 12 percent during that time. By month three, the company reports, Albert had increased Cosabella’s total ROAS 336 percent.

Facebook ads especially have become more lucrative under Albert. ROAS for Facebook increased by 565 percent in the first month. Prior to Albert, between 5 and 10 percent of Cosabella’s paid ad revenue came from Facebook. Now, that’s jumped to 30 percent, and the brand sees 2,000 percent more purchases originating from Facebook than it did before Albert.

As far as what’s changed qualitatively, Cosabella’s ads are starting to look different. “Beautiful campaigns that mean nothing” are becoming passé, Campello says, describing the fashion industry trope of a pretty model being photographed on a boat with her hands in the air and the wind blowing in her hair.

“Authenticity, now, is important, and where your brand is made is actually important again. Who’s making it, no matter what they look like, people love. So, you’ve got brands that are telling these stories really well, and you can’t come back empty. You might have a great product and you love it and you want to give it this feeling, but if you’re not telling a story of why the heck you created it, people fall off.”