2023 Challenges, Focus Points, and Budgets: A Hoops Madness Survey Analysis

by | May 1, 2023 | Blog

For this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, we ran a promotion called the Hoops Madness Invitational. It was our way of engaging our leads and customers in a fun way, while also rewarding the top performers with a few pretty stellar prizes like a Yeti cooler, a Dyson hair dryer, and a trip to a regular season sports game.

But prizes aren’t why I’m writing this. It’s the data we were able to collect as part of this campaign. With the help of a partner of ours, Touchpoint Games, we were able to bring people in and encourage them, with bonus points toward winning the bracket, to answer some incredibly important business intelligence questions for us. More on Touchpoint Games and how that works here.

Here’s an analysis of that data and how it could impact your business in 2023 and 2024. It should be stated up front that we had around 150 respondents to these questions.

First, Some Demographics


As you can see from the chart, we had a majority of respondents representing distributors and HVAC/Plumbing. The “Other” section in industry was comprised of Financial Services, Agriculture, Retail, Pet Supplies, Flooring, Windows/Doors, Materials Handling, and Insurance.

Next, What Challenges Are They Facing?


According to the data, many of our respondents were not just worried about, but facing challenges with economic uncertainty. In recent years, labor shortages have been a predominant issue for these industries, and it still is, but it seems the macroeconomic environment is causing more issues recently.

Combating economic uncertainty sometimes means cutting operational costs. There are a lot of ways you can cut costs, but one way could be incentivizing lower cost behaviors and purchasing habits.

Next, Who Has a “Superfan” Strategy?

The Incentive Research Foundation found that top performing companies focus on recognition of their top performers. Does your brand have a strategy for your VIPs or superfans?

superfan strategy

Only 18% of respondents said they have a superfan strategy. This means that among this cohort, there may be an opportunity for your business to take some business from those who aren’t thinking of their customers that are most likely to promote their business to others.

Finally, Will Your Incentive Budget Change?

Seeing how the industry’s budgets shift is always a great way to understand how to go to market in order to fill in the gaps where people are pulling back and to differentiate where people are spending more. So how will incentive budgets change in the next year or so?

budget change

Based on responses, the large majority of budgets will remain the same, but it’s also worth noting that 20% of budgets will decrease. This could mean that it’s time to start thinking about how you could swoop in on that gap. On the other hand, 26% of respondents will increase their budget, which should be a watchout as more players enter your field with a renewed strategy and dollars.


Keeping a pulse on the industry and how hearts, minds, and dollars are moving is always important. I hope this helps you set your strategy for the remainder of 2023 into 2024. If you’re looking to glean insights like these from your own audiences, check out these 4 promotions to help shake up your market. 


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