I was born and raised as a Cubs fan. Some of my earliest memories are of going to the ‘friendly confines” of Wrigley Field with grandmother. This was back when all Cubs home games were day games and on Mondays, women and children were given free admission for Ladies Day. We sat in the netted area behind home plate as I watched my heroes; Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ron Santo while eating Cracker Jacks, shelled peanuts and hot dogs. As I got a bit older, I would fill out scorecards of the games and track all the stats on a daily basis. I guess you can call me a numbers geek. All true baseball fans become one, whether they fess up or not. 

The legendary Cubs player,  Ernie Banks, was once asked what’s different about today’s baseball. He said, “It’s a lot different. There is a lot of information that you need to know about as a player. How pitchers are pitching you, how defenses are playing, certain situations about certain pitchers.” He’s absolutely right. Nowadays teams use data to bring the edge to their teams.

Now, after countless decades of losing, this year something is very different about my beloved Cubs…but in a good way. I know, it’s still to early to call it this year, but, it really seems to me that they are the best team in baseball and are the odds-on pick to go all the way. The primary reason for this turnaround is their President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein. Just as in 2007 when he brought the Boston Red Sox their first World Series pennant in 86 years, Epstein is using a data-based approach to transform my favorite “lovable losers” into real championship contenders. 

So, it occurred to me while reading the sports section the other day that, just like the Cubs, if someone looks at their business the way Epstein is now looking at the leagues’ stats (data), you can make your own luck. 

What do I mean?

Baseball teams utilize scouting reports on opponents and performance statistics on their players to give themselves the best chance of winning. We utilize business intelligence to discover the who, what, why and where on potential buyers and our competition. It is just common sense that the more you know about your customer (or player or team), the better your chance of winning (their business). My company, Harvest Strat, takes this approach through our Buyer Intent Network that analyzes more than one billion web records each and every day to identify in-market customers down to Zip 9 and device level. Think understanding each team player down to the shoes he’s wearing. Through probabilistic cross-referencing, we then provide doable insights and key information to give marketing and sales teams the chance to be the first to reach the buyer. As in player scouting, the first in wins this game more than 80% of the time. 

The greatest legends in baseball are the players and teams with the most home runs, wins, hits, RBI’s, etc. To achieve these lofty numbers, one has to be “in it to win it.” The more at-bats and games played, the more chances to boost one’s stats. As in baseball, it is the same in business: most B2B and high consideration purchases, businesses only know of and get a single chance to swing at 5% of the total business available. With the Buyer Intent Network, Harvest Strat identifies virtually 100% of both the Total Available Market (TAM) and more importantly, the Total Interested Market (TIM), giving us the ability to boost our client’s ‘stats' significantly. This data-based strategy will greatly increase your company’s number of swings and pitches to win more business. 

Companies who use the “money ball” approach to marketing and sales enablement are giving their team the best chance of success and just like when a player is on a hitting streak, the ball will look bigger and winning will come easier. Unlike steroids and other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), the use of Intent Marketing is fair and legal. No personal identity information regs (PIIs) are being violated. We are simply offering smart, business intelligence to improve your chance of winning.

This week the Cubs are in Milwaukee to play our hapless Brew Crew. Based on the data, the Cubs will most likely continue their winning ways and roll over the somewhat hapless Brewers. And, hopefully, come October the Cubs will break the "curse of the Billy Goat" and fly a World Series pennant over Wrigley Field.  

To leave you with a famous Yankee player quote from the one of a kind Yogi Berra: “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.” Never truer than today.