Go global and successfully grow valuable audiences in new countries
When launching outside your home market, conduct thorough research to understand the local audience and take their preferences and expectations into account.
Why it works
Not all apps and games have the same appeal globally. Local markets can show strong preferences for particular features and designs. By picking the right markets in which to localize and taking local considerations into account, you'll maximize your chances of success and reach many more users.
- Create a shortlist of possible markets. Look at your app's installs, user feedback, and social media to find markets where there may be demand for your app. Also, check the Optimization Tips for your app in the Google Play Console to see if there are countries where your app is already gaining popularity. Then create a shortlist for further research.
- Research your markets thoroughly. Make sure you have a good understanding of any market you want to enter. A place to start is the “Data and insights for key countries” section of The Going Global Playbook. Then Google search and many free (and paid) third-party tools can help. Also, consider reaching out to your community and sound out anyone living in the markets you are researching.
- Understand your local user. Think about the different user behaviors in each market — where and how users are accomplishing their goals and tasks with their devices — and how your app fits in. For example, Korean users commonly use their devices while commuting on public transport (where they have a strong data connection) but the US lacks a similar commuter culture.
- Think about app design. Local conditions may require changes to your app or game. You may be able to appeal to users more with new or revised functionality. For games consider how game characters or tools might be adjusted to appeal to local audiences — particularly if any of them might be culturally insensitive in your target market.
- Consider how to tailor your content to local needs and tastes. Even if you think your content is international and simply needs translation, it may still need to take local religious and social norms into account. You might also need to consider creating market-specific content to engage local users fully.
- Make sure you build for billions. New markets will inevitably take your app to places where users face challenges such as poor networks, lower spec devices, and other limitations. Be ready to adjust your app to overcome these challenges.
- Price to local conditions. When you enter the price of your app, in-app product or subscription in the Google Play Console it automatically converts your price to the local currency, adds tax (in select countries) and applies locally relevant pricing patterns. You can then override these prices if you want to. In doing so consider the local cost of living, purchasing power, competition, and likely demand for your app. In setting the price, you'll also need to consider locally relevant pricing patterns.
- Carefully plan your localization. From your content and app changes through translations and onto market launch and promotion, careful planning will help ensure a successful launch.
- Take your app to market and beyond. Taking your app local is usually most successful when you go local with your support, advertising and promotion too. Consider how you can support local users in their local language. Don't assume that the most effective advertising and promotion will be the same as your home market: you may find that TV advertising doesn't require a huge budget or that local media writers have a strong influence over local technology choices.