Case Study

ECB, The cricket goes social: a winning marketing campaign with the Facebook Conversion API

Thanks to Threepipe Reply support, ECB has recently started a new project in order to adapt the brand to Facebook’s new tool ‘The Conversion API’.

Redefining advertising strategies in a growingly data-conscious world

As the world gets more and more privacy-conscious, digital advertising is about to transform dramatically. Social media is key for many companies and therefore it is essential to cope with the new tools which have been created to take privacy into account on the one hand, but also ensure brands can continue tracking and targeting advertising to customers.

This is especially important for those who want to maintain and enforce a strong relationship with their public. This is the case with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) which has lately invested in a targeted social media strategy in order to conquer a new audience: young adults previously uninterested in cricket. Moreover, the ECB is now keen to prepare for a cookieless world where the use of third-party data will become obsolete. 

Coming alongside: the support of Threepipe Reply

Thanks to Threepipe Reply support - the Reply Group’s UK brand-performance agency with specialists across data, search, media, PR, creative, and technology - ECB has recently started a new project in order to adapt the brand to Facebook’s new tool ‘The Conversion API’.

We have been working with Threepipe Reply for over five years as they continue to help us plan and measure the effectiveness of our campaigns based on our core business metrics, ensuring that our advertising is delivering the best return on investment.

Fiona Staines
Head of Digital at England and Wales Cricket board

Adapting social media practices and obtaining the necessary data

The ECB has historically used Facebook across its whole portfolio. This includes the ‘Core’ marketing team which looks after domestic and international fixtures, and the ‘Partnerships & Growth’ team which looks at grassroots engagement and diversity. Finally, as of 2019 ‘The Hundred’ marketing team started to work directly on this as well. All of these different parts of the organisation use Facebook and Instagram in various ways.
There are currently more than 10 million followers across the ECB channels, and the ECB team is willing to continue to build those relationships as well as expanding the reach of cricket to new audiences. To do so, it is essential not only to create a tailored product, content and distribution offering for each key audience in cricket, but to make the digital offering central.

These central requirements come together within a targeted digital marketing strategy. However, the blocking of third-party cookies by the major browsers will have a significant impact on online advertising.

While the ECB has a vast quantity of first-party data, they are willing to continue to target users outside their database. The use of the Facebook Conversion API will allow the brand to achieve this. “The ECB will soon adopt the latest Facebook API to boost channel understanding and measurement, which will help us improve our approach to planning and measurement of key business metrics. Using the very best channel data available to us, we can optimize campaigns on a micro level to gain further efficiencies”, Staines says.

Understanding the changes and looking to the future

The Facebook Conversion API is indeed a re-vamped version of their ‘Server-side API’ which can bypass third-party cookies as well as Ad-blocking systems by sending the same or similar customer information directly to Facebook rather than needing it to go “via” another technology or using another’s technologies identifiers. “We are happy to be in a position to take full advantage of the Facebook Conversion API among other changes to tracking going forwards, as we know this will be an area of constant change as the boundaries between technology and privacy are defined in society and in advertising”, Staines concludes.