The Challenge

The QLD Government Business & Industry portal is a cross-departmental franchise portal aimed at making it easier for QLD Businesses to operate, grow and create jobs for Queenslanders. They do this by offering industry-specific news and advice to business operators. The only problem was that there are a lot of different business types to cater to, and what is of interest to one market sector is of no use to another. With Government spending under scrutiny it was important for DTESB to ensure they had a demonstrably successful website which included prioritising expansion to deliver forms and other transactional services online, reducing the regulatory burden on businesses and making it easier for them to find information and obtain licences, registrations and permits.

The obvious key to this success was being able to serve industry-specific content to different users from the same web site. But there was also a resource waiting to be tapped into. This resource is the Australian Business Account (ABA), which is essentially a CRM of business operators owned and managed by the Australian Federal Government.

DTESB identified that there are about 80 attributes, some of which have up to 6,000 possible categories to select from. As users can be identified by multiple combinations of 6,000 industry options, postcode, business stage, business size, and many other options, there is an almost infinite combination of fine grained segmentation being recorded, which DTESB wanted to tap into in the future, as they continue to develop more and more targetable content.

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The Solution

DTESB selected Squiz Matrix for its ability to personalise content and tailor complex processes into the simplest user experience. During implementation workshops with DTESB and Squiz  Technical Consultants we were able to define what content would and wouldn't be personalised and what would be the default functionality for a 'person of undefined industry'. The Squiz team drew up a solution to tag content using metadata to define the user's attributes. Content and services are made relevant based upon:

  • Profile
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Business size
  • Stage of business

Squiz and the ABA folks worked out a way to allow account ABA holders to sign into the Business and Industry Portal by using their ABA account credentials. By being able to tap into the account holders' ABA attributes, the Business & Industry Portal personalises important notices that affect their business (such as regulatory changes), news items, webinars, promos and events to suit authenticated users. The solution enables business to get a full transparent pipeline to track your licenses and permits are going across multiple departments.

Online diagnosis tools help businesses to understand where they are at in terms of capability and provided tailored advice. An example is the "Fit to supply quiz" that helps businesses sell their services to Government, assessing things like staffing, management processes, market readiness and partnership readiness.

Another example is the Forms and Fees Finder, helping businesses apply, manage, surrender, suspend and transfer licenses. Translating complex logic in spreadsheets, we created a diverse user experience to walk businesses through this structure and identify the right forms and fees relevant to them. The user is stepped though a series of questions, the result is an action plan tailored to their business.

Queensland businesses needed a simpler way to understand Australia's IP system; how to identify and protect and commercialise their IP. We provided 3 ways for businesses to access the information, Search, Browse or Discover (another use of our out-of-box diagnostic tool). Helping business can cut through the jargon and get to the content relevant to them.

Squiz Matrix also improves the tender searching capability by bringing in Queensland Government tenders (from an system and presenting the tenders in a much more relevant and easier to use search using Squiz Matrix and our Funnelback search functionality.

Squiz's partnership with the BIP allows both Squiz and the Department prioritise the expansion based on business needs according to comprehensive phone survey market research.

The Result

When Squiz kicked off the Business and Industry Portal (BIP) the website was attracting approximately 10,000 customers a month. Within 3 years the BIP website now services over 330,000 customers a month! The Queensland Government sees this as an outstanding success.

TheTreasurer and Minister for Trade The Honourable Tim Nicholls issued a joint statement with the Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games The Honourable Jann Stuckey regarding the BIP website initiative. Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the Newman Government was unashamedly pro-growth and small business was vital to the State's continued economic progress.

The benefits to customers and the Government is regularly tested by market research headed by Gavin Atkinson, Director of Digital Solutions through random phone based market research conducted with 1,000-1,500 participants.

Queensland Businesses has shown that over the last 3 years the BIP program has been able to save approximately 4 hundred million dollars.

As the visitation to the BIP website drastically increased, as did the numbers of calls going to the call centre has dropped off dramatically. The counter based services diminished to the point that the Government closed down the counter based services. Due to the fact our online channel was working so effectively the department cannot attribute a single complaint to the counter desk closure.

DTESB are well ahead of the pack when it comes to measuring the goal conversions of franchise websites. They are so happy with the result they've even nominated themselves for an award! Of course any good story about personalisation never ends. We're currently working towards a September deadline to roll out an OAuth2 authentication feature (as is ABA) and this will open up opportunities for Matrix, ABA and a whole plethora of social media applications to share attributes of the users that can be used to further personalise inbound marketing content.

Squiz and the Business and Industry Portal are aligned with the One Stop Shop strategy and have practical experience in supporting Queensland Government ICT Strategy Plan 2013-2017 with real outcomes to support the businesses of Queensland.

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