Case Study
Adjacent Opportunity Exploration

Exploring opportunities beyond MarTech

Widen is a marketing technology (MarTech) company that designs, develops, and provides digital asset management (DAM) and product information management software and services.

The MarTech landscape is a crowded space that's growing at a fast rate. Widen saw an opportunity to explore new adjacencies to its business model – to imagine “what’s next” – to serve the emerging and unmet needs of marketing and creative professionals and beyond into customer experience and e-commerce professionals.

Widen is a company that is built upon exploring and acting on "what's next." It was was founded in 1948 with a focus on engraving. Over the next 70-plus years, the company transitioned into print and premedia to serve marketing and creative teams. Today, its flagship Widen Collective® DAM software empowers marketing teams to effectively create, manage and distribute content. 

In particular, Widen was interested in identifying opportunities that were feasible within 3-5 years based on the innovation ambition of its leadership team. They were already familiar with the Playing to Win strategy framework, so it became a driver in shaping the project plan over three phases: Frame, Discover & Define, and Advise. 

Delve’s Strategy team took a balanced approach to explore and define adjacent opportunities by assessing the competencies of Widen today, considering current and emerging trends in the marketplace, exploring competitive offerings and analogs, and speaking with potential users and customers in the space to understand their needs.

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Frame

In the first phase of the project, Delve’s team quickly synthesized background materials and conducted subject matter expert and executive interviews within Widen to gather voice of business needs and the appetite Widen had for risk. That insight, along with a canvas of key social and technology trends that were relevant to potential customers, helped narrow the innovation sandbox to some potential adjacency spaces “where we might play.”

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Discover & Define

Next, Delve conducted interviews with professionals who represented target customers in the potential adjacency spaces. User needs helped further build the business case for the adjacencies to better answer “where and how we might play” questions. Interviews were conducted across industries, job roles, and business types from B2B, B2C, and D2C. Synthesis of the interviews was completed by a cross-functional team of Delve and Widen stakeholders, using sliding scales and brainstorming activities to find the patterns and determine what areas were of most interest moving forward.

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"What we accomplished in six months with Delve would have easily taken us 18 months to get through on our own." - Leah, Director of Research & Design, Widen

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