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Kenzie Barden

Design  + Research + Strategy

Microsoft Automotive

As the Research Lead at Good.Brand, I spearheaded a three-month qualitative research project for Microsoft Automotive, focusing on identifying the decision-makers, understanding their pain points, and framing solutions for digital transformation challenges in Tier 1 automotive suppliers using Microsoft Cloud Technologies.

ROLE: 

Research Lead

The Tier 1 automotive industry is pivotal in the digital transformation of manufacturing for major automotive brands, yet struggles with identifying and implementing effective digital solutions. The challenge was to understand their organizational structures, decision-making processes, and their perceived hurdles to adopting new technologies like cloud computing.

The Challenge

Through targeted qualitative research, we provided Microsoft with detailed buyer personas and a comprehensive understanding of the Tier 1 suppliers' landscape. This enabled the creation of tailored messaging and strategic alignments for Microsoft's cloud solutions, directly addressing the suppliers' specific pain points and business needs.

The Solution

The research was conducted using a dual approach: primary and secondary. We interviewed 12 executive-level participants from leading Tier 1 suppliers and reviewed numerous industry case studies and reports. This method provided a robust framework to capture a detailed understanding of the current industry dynamics and the specific roles of decision-makers within the digital transformation journey.

Research Methodology

The research revealed that Tier 1 suppliers are increasingly seeking solutions that can offer both immediate ROI and long-term strategic benefits. Key pain points included the need for better data integration and a more collaborative approach with OEMs. The study identified two main groups of stakeholders: Change Drivers, focused on strategic business transformation, and Capacity Planners, who manage the immediate operational challenges.

Key Insights and Findings

The insights gained from this study were instrumental in reshaping Microsoft’s approach to selling cloud solutions in the automotive sector. We developed strategic scorecards that reflected the identified pain points, which were then utilized to inform and adjust Microsoft's sales strategies, ensuring that their solutions aligned more closely with the real and pressing needs of Tier 1 automotive suppliers. This approach not only enhanced the relevance of Microsoft's offerings but also strengthened its position as a pivotal partner in automotive digital transformation.

Impact and Implementation