Marketing an App for Global Users

June 27, 2017 | Sakshi Sharma

Whether you are working as a full-time app developer or just writing a few apps in your spare time, it is easy to stick to what you know. Focusing on your home market is only natural, but if you are not thinking globally, you could be missing out on a huge percentage of the market for your creations.

If you want to make the most of your talent, creativity, and hard work, you need to look beyond the North American market and see things from a global perspective. Developing a marketing strategy is hard, but once you have that strategy in place, adapting it to a worldwide marketplace could be easier than you think.

Finding the Right Partner

As you move forward with your global marketing strategy, having the right partner in your corner becomes even more essential. Companies like SDI can make every part of the app development process, from designing a compelling website and marketing your creations to expanding your reach outside the borders of your home country, a great deal easier. With the right partner by your side, you can reach more buyers, create a global marketplace for your creations and maximize the profit potential from all your hard work.

No matter where you are in the app development process, the development of a marketing strategy with a global reach can present a number of challenges. The branding and marketing strategies that have always worked so well for your home market may not be so well received when you make the move overseas. Cultural difficulties, language barriers, and differences in the way worldwide consumers use their smartphones can all stand in the way of a successful app marketing strategy, but there are ways to overcome these challenges and come out on the winning side.

Determining the Scope of Work

One of the biggest impediments to successful global marketing for any app is miscalculating the amount of work involved. It is easy for entrepreneurs, especially successful ones, to simply adapt their past marketing efforts to a new global marketplace. Since the global marketplace is a much different animal than the one at home, this kind of adaptation strategy is doomed to failure from the start.

Developing an effective marketing budget, one that can reach across the globe as well as the home marketplace, is another big challenge for entrepreneurs. Some app developers, especially newcomers to the craft, set their marketing budgets unrealistically low, relying on free and almost free outreach efforts like social media and word of mouth. While that low marketing budget may be sufficient for the developer’s home market, it is unlikely to be enough to penetrate borders and create a truly global sensation.

Focusing on ROI

No matter what type of application is being sold and marketed, it is important to focus on the amount of money being spent and how it relates to the number of downloads. In other words, getting the biggest bang for your global marketing buck is of the utmost importance.

Spending too much money for too few downloads could mean blowing your entire marketing budget without ever achieving the results you want. On the other hand, targeting your efforts where they will have the greatest impact will improve your return on investment and give you more money to put back into the business.

Tailoring Your Efforts

Another mistake new app developers make when going global is using the same approach for every market. That one-size-fits-all approach to marketing apps is all too common, and almost always a failure.

Just think about the inherent differences between New York City, Cleveland, Phoenix, and San Francisco, then extend those differences outward to places like Tokyo, Moscow, London, Paris, and Cairo. When you look at marketing from that perspective, it is easy to see why the one-size-fits-all approach is an ineffective one.

Continuous Testing

Whether you are marketing for your home market or taking a more global approach to selling your app, it is important to determine what works and what does not work. Testing your marketing efforts is the best way to maximize return on investment and allocate your precious dollars where they will do the most good.

If you are not continually testing the results of your marketing efforts, you could literally be throwing money away. You may think your latest global marketing strategy is a winner, but until you quantify the results, you can never know for sure.

The first step toward the development of a testable global marketing strategy is the establishment of a baseline. Once you have that baseline in place, it will be easier to see how much you are spending versus the results you are getting. If your latest global marketing effort results in worldwide sales far over baseline, you know you are on the right track. If your sales dip below baseline, it is time to go back to the drawing board.

Help Creating the Baseline

If you need help establishing that all-important baseline, SDI can help. We can help you create your app marketing strategy from the ground up, including a pre-launch campaign that includes the establishment of a baseline and all your marketing efforts going forward.

At SDI, we know what it takes to market apps on a global level, and we understand how differences between cultures, changes in user expectations and the borders between countries can impact the number of downloads, and ultimately your profits.

In the age of globalization, there is no one market, and focusing on your home country means giving up profits from the rest of the world. If you are not marketing your app for the global market, you could be missing out on thousands in profits and selling your new company short.

For more help on global marketing strategies, contact the the team at 408.805.0495/408.621.8481 or email us at

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