This is a great question! It depends on what the new product/feature is, who the target audience is, and what your goals are for the launch but, more often than not, there is significant opportunity to drive adoption and upgrades within your current base rather than focusing solely on net new users.We decide how much focus we put on new versus existing users in our launch activity by the “tier” of the launch. Tier 1 launches are large, net new products or features that will bring in new customer and impact our current base. You can usually run about 2-3 true Tier 1 launches a year when you're at the size Airtable is today. Tier 2 will definitely impact existing customers and may bring in some subset of new customers. We probably run two Tier 2 launches a quarter, so 8/year at Airtable. Tier 3 will mostly impact existing users and the change will not be significant. The bulk of product updates are usually Tier 3 launches. Tier 2 and Tier 3 launches have the current customer as the primary audience, and that means that our marketing work will be focused on messaging and programs for those users. But, even in a Tier 1 launch that’s primarily focused on bringing in new users rather than existing users, your existing users will be impacted and will care, so every launch should have a focus on current customers and communication to help them continue to succeed and expand with the product.
It's always easier to sell in new things to an existing audience than try and build a new one. It also depends on your philosophy. If it is like Airbnb's original, "Get 100 people to love you rather than a million people to sort of like you," you should focus on your existing users. If you feel like you need to grow your user numbers quickly however, by all means leverage that new product to generate some external buzz.
Great question! The goal of the new products team at Atlassian is to both expand our existing users and customers into new products and solutions and to reach new or adjacent audiences outside of Atlassian's customer base. Depending on the product and strategy, the product marketers on my team may focus more on one over the other.
I'll give a few examples from the portfolio:
We also have products like Team Central for example. The intention is for Team Central to be an 'expand' product in the early days, meaning our existing customers will discover and adopt it via the suite of Atlassian products they already use. Down the road, we believe this product will become a 'land' product in our portfolio and be the first product an Atlassian customer would adopt.
Two things to consider. 1) What are the goals of the launch? If you don't have launch goals then figure that out first. 2) If your launch goals can be achieved faster through existing customers, focus there.
The answer depends on the strategy of the business and how success is measured. If the strategy is to drive new revenue through new market segments, I'll lean adoption for the target market segment. If it's top line only and I have a customer base with a need, I'll lean toward them. If I'm targeting a new market segment that's risk averse and want proof, I might lean on my customer base first to build references and then go after the new target market segment. Start with what the business is trying to accomplish and drill that down into something quantifiable.
For a SaaS products, Recurring Revenue is what sustains the business. Since selling to existing customers is easier and quicker than finding and converting new prospects, it should certainly be part of the new product launch. (This assumes that the new product is appropriate for existing customers and not to go after a new market.) Customers like it when their vendors are innovative, find new ways to solve their problems and provide more value. It builds loyalty and converts users into advocates.