Scaling Your Mobile App in the Global Market

Scaling your mobile app in the global market

The biggest opportunity to grow your app’s user base may lie outside your home country, hence, establishing an international presence for your mobile app may help you maximize your app’s chances of success. Nowadays, digital businesses have a high chance of going global, and there are many examples of successful app globalization, so maybe it’s time for you to give it a try? 

For the transition from local to global to run smoothly, you need a strategy. To provide the full picture of the steps to undertake before you move forward with your globalization plan, we spoke with our team members Naoki Kobayashi, VP of Asia, Kim Carlson, VP of Sales - U.S. & EMEA, as well as with our partners from MobilityWare, Social Point, and me2zen. 

Let's dive into several key points you need to consider. 

Setting Goals and KPIs

The success of your app marketing strategy should be tied to key performance indicators (KPIs). Effective scaling requires a clear set of goals per region. Before you dive into the world of globalization, figure out what your overall objectives are. Mobile app developers generally want three things: more downloads, more revenue, continued user engagement. To measure these goals, you will need to measure the following KPIs:

  • Cost per Install (CPI) 
  • Cost per Mille (CPM)
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  • Conversion Rate (CR)
  • Retention Rate (RR) and Churn
  • Return on Investment (ROI)

The benchmark for these KPIs will be different per region, so it’s important to configure your analytics, do research, and set the right expectations per each market. 

Chris Kim, Mobilityware

Planning Budgets

Once you have defined your KPIs, the next logical step is to plan your budgets. It is smart to start with a lower budget, enough for your media partner to complete the learning phase, and increase the budget allocation once you know what works. Making prudent financial decisions is even more important when you are dealing with a small level of capital, so let your media partner guide you in terms of timing of the test and make sure to follow the reporting on the ability of the campaign to deliver results.

Barbara Balazova, Social Point

Jerry Yang, Me2Zen

Machine Learning Models and Data

Globalization requires careful selection of your media partners. Having a demand-side platform (DSP) partner with global reach ensures campaign scalability. Look for DSPs who own global data centers and have strategic partnerships with the large exchanges, as well as local exchanges, to ensure the coverage of different ad formats. 

Another factor that differentiates a great media partner is their focus on building predictive models and their ability to identify which data is valuable for training machine learning models. Look for a partner that offers custom machine learning algorithms trained on down-funnel KPIs that optimize for events such as registration, sale, and purchase.

Kim Carlson, Aarki

Creative Strategies

Your ad creative is the representation of your app and the backbone of any mobile advertising campaign. So, a carefully planned creative strategy may be your winning card in your journey to globalization. 

Use your data to inform your ads and run creatives targeted to the specific audience. Localize your ad creatives to adapt to different markets. Past performance of Aarki’s numerous global campaigns has shown that most localized ads perform better than standard non-translated ads. 

Naoki Kobayashi, Aarki

Below we have highlighted several creative strategies that will help you tap into new territories with your app. Don’t forget to pair these strategies with full localization. 

Localization tips, infographics

There is no one-size-fit-all approach in mobile advertising, so creative optimization should be a focal point for your campaign planning, irrespective of the region you are entering. The A/B test should not necessarily be focused on a broad scope of elements. Sometimes changing small details like background elements, the color of the call to action (CTA) or a word in the copy can be enough to grab the attention of your app users. Moreover, you can test multiple variants of ad elements to determine the most effective combination for a single ad. 


Transparency in reporting gives the advertisers and the media partner the ability to drill down on performance data and optimize on a granular level. When entering new markets, work with a partner who has the right reporting tools to make sure that optimizations are guided by valuable performance data.

For Android app advertisers and iOS app advertisers whose users share IDFA, the reporting should be at the impression level. Ad placements, the audiences reached, and the return on ad spend should all be visible to the advertiser. The campaign data and the app events that are attributed to the campaign should be easily viewed on reporting dashboards and passed via APIs to reporting tools that enable the advertiser to have end-to-end performance visibility. 

There are several limitations in reporting after the release of iOS 14.5 and the launch of the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework for users who opt-out IDFA, however, this can be mitigated by working with a media partner who will ensure transparent reporting by integrating with all major MMPs. 

Feeling more informed about your next steps towards globalization? Give it a try and let us know your feedback. Shoot us a message in case of questions.  


Topics: Marketplace Insights