The newly-formed Big Red Group (BRG) has announced it has secured the exclusive rights to bring the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) digital marketing platform, Albert, to Australia and New Zealand.
Group co-founder Naomi Simson announced the exclusive agreement, alongside a major shake up of online experience retailer RedBalloon and associated businesses*.
Albert is a fully autonomous, enterprise-level AI marketing platform that drives digital marketing campaigns from start to finish for some of the world’s leading brands.
Created by Albert Technologies in 2010, Albert’s success transforming major brands’ cross-channel digital marketing efforts with its self-driven technology has been well-documented in the US.
The AI platform has been publicly credited with driving 40 per cent of Harley-Davidson’s New York City sales, influencing lingerie brand Cosabella’s decision to replace its digital agencies with AI, and creating so much demand for Dole Asia’s canned goods that its suppliers initially ran out of stock before ultimately reaching an 87 per cent increase in sales across the board.
According to Albert chief revenue officer Geoff Farris, Albert wades through massive amounts of data, converting it into insights, and autonomously acting on these insights, across channels, devices and formats in real time.
“This eliminates the manual and time-consuming tasks that currently limit the effectiveness and results of modern digital advertising and marketing,” he said.
“But more importantly, it lets businesses execute and scale their efforts at a pace that simply isn’t possible by human teams.”
The agreement entitles the Big Red Group to distribute Albert to third-party media companies across entire supplier chains, as well as to direct-to-consumer retailers, under the registered business Big Albert AI.
RedBalloon launched the technology at the beginning of June this year, and within 24 hours of deploying Albert, the technology was able to identify and execute over 6,400 keywords to improve performance across the RedBalloon business. By way of comparison, this would take a human SEM expert up to a year to achieve.
Albert was also able to reduce the cost of acquiring a customer to RedBalloon by more than 25 per cent in less than 30 days, demonstrating its capacity to reduce overall costs by north of 40 per cent.
“We have trialled this amazing technology across RedBalloon and Wrapped and it has proven its effectiveness beyond doubt,” Simson said.
“Now we want our business community to share in the upside that comes with more efficient marketing spend. We’re not reducing our marketing budgets in any way – we’re simply ensuring that our dollars, and the dollars our partners pay us to do what we do, are working harder and harder day after day.”
Simson is aware of the tensions that surround artificial intelligence technology, recently bought to the fore by Tesla’s Elon Musk, who claimed AI poses an “existential threat” to human civilisation.
However, Albert’s track record alone refutes this sentiment. In the US, Albert is at the core of a number of new hybrid man-machine digital marketing departments at companies like Harley-Davidson, Cosabella and Dole Asia, where AI handles everything data and tech-related, while Albert’s human counterparts handle all things strategy, creative, intuition and emotion.
“When I started RedBalloon in 2001, it cost roughly five cents to find a new customer. Now, across the board in the businesses I deal with, I see it costing upwards of $20 to find that same customer. This is completely unsustainable for any business,” Simson said.
“We have seen Albert drive down the cost of customer acquisition by a quarter in a matter of weeks. Imagine the difference this sort of technology could make to businesses across the country.
“Ten years ago business was all about offshoring to the cheapest operator those tasks that were not core to your business, but those roles associated with manual and process-driven tasks have largely been replaced by technology now.
“The next generation of that is a rising tide of technology that is beginning to replace higher-functioning, process-driven roles.
“But we should not be fearful of this, as it frees our people up to focus on the higher value tasks like collaboration, strategy and creativity – human and higher functioning skills that at this point cannot be replicated, and certainly not replaced, by AI.”
*BRG provides management and services to its subsidiaries RedBalloon, Big Albert AI, Redii, Wrapped and The Huddle, and was co-founded by Simson and Group CEO David Anderson, who acquired 50 per cent of the RedBalloon business in June.