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IP Australia

Deep-dive Customer Research

Important dates

Opportunity ID
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 11 May 2018 at 6PM (in Canberra)
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 16 May 2018 at 6PM (in Canberra)
Wednesday 9 May 2018


Write a summary of your brief

IP Australia wishes to conduct focus groups, in-depth interviews plus a some desktop research. Goal: more fully understand our main customer groups. Deep-dive into issues identified during our recent customer satisfaction survey including customer needs and wants, their journey through the IP process, customer-driven innovation and update our audience profiles.

What is the latest start date?
How long is the contract?

Work must be substantially completed by 30 June 2018

Where can the work take place?
  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Offsite
Who will the specialist work for?
IP Australia
Budget range

Up to $100,000

About the work

Why is the work being done?

IP Australia conducts regular user research to ensure development and improvements to our products and services are keeping pace with the needs of our customers/audiences. Following on from our 2018 Customer Satisfaction Survey, we would like to conduct qualitative/exploratory research to better understand key issues identified regarding our products and services.

This research will assist us to understand our audience profile and the customer journey from their inception of an idea, through the application process, achieving an IP right and the subsequent use and management of their IP Right.

We are also looking for customer innovations and suggestions for improvements to our services.

What's the key problem you need to solve?

• Deep dive (qualitative focus groups and in-depth interviews) exploring issues discovered in our March 2018 Customer Satisfaction survey results.

• Audience profiling – understand our audience by demographic and psychographics (desktop research, workshops with staff, one-on-one interviews with audiences, analytics data provided by us)

• Test key messages and communication preferences (expectations, channels, language used [technical Vs non-technical], frequency of communication expected by customers)

• Perceptions of cost and value of IP (Intellectual Property) fees

• Influencers – understand the key people motivating/encouraging behaviour toward seeking IP protection

• Web and non-web user journeys when seeking and obtaining IP protection (focus groups, desktop research, one on one interviews, analytics.)

• Customer feedback regarding Hearings and oppositions processes (one on one interviews).

• Examine the likely uptake/popularity of a 'push' process for providing information to users.

• Environmental scan – what industry pressures may impact on how we deliver IP services in the future

• Videography files (raw video and audio recordings) of customers answering questions and providing ideas for innovation recorded during focus groups and one-on-one interviews.

Describe the users and their needs

We are the Australian Government agency that administers intellectual property (IP) rights and legislation relating to patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder's rights. Our vision is to create a world leading IP system building prosperity for Australia.

Our users use our various services to:

-Achieve access to an effective legal framework for innovators to protect their ideas.

-Obtain a secure environment for investment in innovation

-Build brand value and business knowledge

-Encourage the disclosure of invention and the transfer of knowledge and technology

What work has already been done?

IP Australia (Customer Intelligence Team) regularly conducts research on its customers including regular satisfaction surveys, the collection of web analytics, web-user research and other qualitative research.

In March 2018, IP Australia conducted its annual customer satisfaction survey which identified key areas of strength as well as areas we could improve on in terms of our products and services as well as how we deal with and communicate to our customers. This document will be used to guide the successful consultant in targeting key issues for us to explore in greater depth than is possible with a survey alone.

IP Australia's Customer Intelligence team will also be able to provide other previous research which may be useful to the successful consultant as needed.

Who will the work be done with?

You will be working with our Customer Intelligence team, Strategic Communications Team and our customers.

Any additional relevant information?

Target audience

The research will cover 12 key groups including:

• Patent attorneys

• Trade mark and Design attorneys

• Plant Breeder’s Rights qualified persons

• Trade mark self-filers

• Patent self- filers

• Design self-filers

• Trade mark applicants filed through and attorney

• Patent applicants filed through and attorney

• Design applicants filed through and attorney

• annuity firms

• oppositions and hearings customers

• micro business (not current customers)


We envisage a qualitative methodology, primarily using focus groups with the flexibility to conduct one-on-one depth interviews when required. Approximately 10 people should be included for each of the 12 key stakeholder groups.

Video recordings of the focus group sessions are requested to enable IP Australia to use parts of the video (with participant consent) to incorporate into internal training and communications tools for our staff.


• Detailed written report that address the objectives and includes illustrative quotes from customers to support findings and conclusions.

• Raw video files of customers responses to questions

What phase is the work in?

Work setup

Where will the work take place?

Our office is located at 47 Bowes Street, Woden ACT. Our customers are located nationally. Due to qualitative nature of the research a combination of focus groups and face-to-face depth interviews or equivalent online methods (e.g. online focus groups or depth interviews) can be used. Customers may be sampled from Australian capital cities or regions as needed to provide a quality research outcome.

What are the working arrangements?

The successful consultant will report to the Customer Intelligence Team. The consultant will be able to work remotely but will need to be available in ACT at key points within the project.

Is security clearance required?

Not applicable

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate sellers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and conducting focus groups and in-depth interviews for business and non-business audiences.
  • Experience conducting desktop research and data analysis
  • Ability to demonstrate adherence to quality research procedures and practises.
  • Ability to attend IP Australia offices at key points during the project
  • Demonstrate previous market research/customer research and strategy development experience.
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How sellers will be evaluated

How many shortlisted sellers will you evaluate?
Proposal criteria
  • How well your approach and methodology meet our project goals
  • Ability to closely meet our timeframes
  • The skills and experience of your project team and consultants
  • Experience in previous similar projects
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
Work smoothly as a team with our organisation to achieve project goals
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

Cultural fit


Seller questions

Seller questions
Seller question Buyer answer
1. Given the short time frame, have the participants in the focus groups been identified as yet? No the participants have not been individually identified as yet. IP Australia will provide contact details to the successful supplier to be used for inviting participants.
2. Have any of the focus groups been scheduled? If so, what are the dates? No. The scheduling of the focus groups and qualitative depth-interviews will be the responsibility of the supplier who will need to negotiate the availability of the participants directly with our customers. The scheduling should be organised to enable completion within the overall project time schedule.
3. The brief prescribes a specific research methodology for this project, are you open to alternative approaches being recommended? We require quotations and methods for the approach proscribed. Sellers are welcome to offer alternate methodology but as an option only after addressing our proscribed method.
4. Have you had success in the past with recruiting these audience groups for focus group research? Previous research and consultations with these audiences have been conducted using a variety of discussion group, focus group and individual interview methods as needed to match the practical needs of each audience or customer group. We accept that some flexibility in the qualitative contact methods may be required in order to achieve project goals for different audiences and individuals. A combination of qualitative research methods may be required which may affect your recruitment process for different groups and individuals.
5. Can you expand on what your expectations are for an environmental scan? The environmental scan represents a forward-looking exploration of what factors are (or will be) in our clients' business, technological and personal work environments which might impact on how we do business with them in the future. E.g. How do they do business now and how might they need to do business with us in the future and why?
6. In terms of testing key messages, are they based on current messages or are you looking to test new messaging? We will be testing some previous messaging around particular topics of interest and will also be asking about any future or improved key messages of relevance or importance to our customers.

Only invited sellers can apply for an 'Open to one' or 'Open to selected' opportunity.

Learn more about Open to selected opportunities.

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