It's all cricket


I like cricket. A lot.

And while I appreciate it’s not exactly everyone’s cup of tea, I think marketers can learn a huge amount from the direction it’s going in terms of how success is analysed and reported on. 

So bear with me. 

Cricket has always been a numbers game. For all its revered elegance, charm and nostalgia, it’s a sport deeply rooted in stats. 

At its core, batting and bowling averages have long been the key measures of success for cricketers, providing a quick, easy view of how ‘good’ players are. 

When it comes to batting, for example, the higher the batting average (total number of runs scored divided by the number of times they’ve been ‘out’) the more successful the batsman is deemed to be.

But this has never told the full story. It doesn’t take into account any of the key nuances that make the game so special for those who love it. 

On paper, a batsmen averaging 50.00 is seen as more successful than a batsmen who scored at 45.00. But from this you can’t tell the quality of the opposition they’ve played against, the number of games their batting has won (or indeed, lost) or the conditions in which they played.

As the game has evolved, cricket analysts have sought new and more intricate ways of measuring success and have dug ever deeper into results to sort the wheat from the chaff (if you’re interested, this is a great piece on the art of performance analysis).

It takes time, passion and expertise but the results help build trophy winning teams and, ultimately, sponsorship and fan revenue.

What does this mean for marketers?

The lesson here is that we should no longer be satisfied dealing with high level metrics. When looking at email campaigns for example, reporting on overall last click revenue, click or open rates is barely skimming the surface. Much like a batting average, it doesn’t give any insight into true impact. If businesses want to walk-the-walk and live up to claims of being ‘data-driven’, they must dig deeper.

By way of example, we recently reviewed a client’s abandon basket campaign.

As you’d expect from a key conversion comm, it was performing well. Indeed, target vs control analysis showed it was driving very healthy incremental revenue at an overall level.

But a quick look at some of the campaign’s key attributes using our CMP’s Campaign Dashboard showed that all the statistically incremental revenue was being driven by campaigns sent to customers with two items left in their basket. There was actually no uplift for those with one or three+ items.

Immediately that highlights there could be a better message to be sending to those customers; a big shout when the general consensus on the importance of abandon basket campaigns is considered but one that is backed up by data and worthy of a test program.

Much like cricket (and, famously, baseball) teams, marketers must challenge the status quo and invest in resource and capabilities that let them get beyond averages and high level metrics and into the data that tells the real stories


Stuart Russell
Client Services Director

Data Platform, CMPStuart Russell