a crowd of people in white clothing looking down at their phones
User Acquisition

Scaling An App: How to Enter a New Market

Fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all. That’s why scaling an app and entering a new market is unsettling for many UA teams.

There will be around 7.7 billion smartphone users by 2028; that’s around 12 percent more than there are now. But most recent mobile trend reports tell us that Tier 1 markets are maturing and almost all growth is coming from emerging markets. 

Scaling an app needs to be more strategic than before – advertisers must test new UA networks and work with the right ones to scale in their GEO of choice.

Homa banner leading to success story

1. Do Enough Market Research

Hard research makes for an easier launch.

Research shows that 72 percent of new mobile app products fail to perform well due to inadequate research. While market research may sound like a no-brainer, developers often fail to execute it well. 

Mobile apps struggle to scale their apps in their GEO of choice because 

  • the complexity of certain markets is underestimated
  • the UA channel they’re currently working with can’t tap into the right users 
  • the same ad solutions fail to capture different audiences
  • the pricing isn’t appropriate
  • they haven’t localized the app and creatives effectively
  • KPIs haven’t been adapted to the reality of the market 
banner leading to advertise playtime page

Advertisers should size themselves up against their competitors in the relevant market. Successful games in that market will tell them what their game’s winning formula could be. This could be in terms of ad preferences – visuals and ads that appeal to Japanese users will likely not attract users in Finland, for example. 

The fewer mistakes you make – and the fewer assumptions you make – about the market you want to launch in, the quicker you can focus on optimizing your UA campaigns and testing what will have even greater impact. 

2. Define Your Target Audience

The key to grow an app in a new GEO is to focus on finding highly relevant users for it – instead of casting a net wide.

Because these gems will be high-quality, high-intent, high-retention users. These are users who could become evangelists for a given app and heavily influence its UA KPIs, such as lifetime value and retention rate.

Advertisers should therefore narrow down their target audience to understand them better. They should get to grips with the demographic, the psychographics, and behavioral patterns of these glorified gamers. 

  • Who will be the high-retention, high-value gamers?
  • Which other apps (nongaming and gaming) are they engaging with? 
  • How are these users best monetized?

Most users entering a Playtime rewarded experience opt in to share their device data – a great source of insights that helps UA teams understand their users better. A dedicated adjoe growth manager can advise these UA teams on how to enter a new market – and bid accurately for each audience segment – based on previous experience with other advertisers.

3. Start with a Soft Launch

Soft launches ensure advertisers maximize the success of their scaling efforts while minimizing any financial risks. 

UA teams must gather real data from the market, track KPIs, collect feedback, fix bugs and issues, and optimize their game for an official launch. With soft launches, these teams can already start to build a loyal pool of gamers before they take it to the masses. They do this by launching their game to a broader audience in a variety of countries (usually Tier 2 or 3) at a lower cost to minimize the financial risks and maximize the learnings.

The unique Playtime ad network covers all countries across the world and helps UA managers test and optimize their growth strategy. Publisher Dragon Plus turned to Playtime’s reach to test its growth strategy and managed to expand its UA efforts into nearly 30 new countries – from an exclusively US focus to entirely new key GEOs, such as UK, FR, CA, and DE. This global growth spurt ensured its app surpassed ROAS and retention targets.

How to Enter a New Market with Playtime

The only thing that you, as an advertiser, can be certain about is that entering a new market and expanding your mobile gaming business is exciting. 

Whether or not your domestic market is slowing down and stagnating, you need to be on the hunt for new loyal users to sustain your growth. Especially, in emerging markets, where there is impressive potential for scalability.

Playtime’s unique global network gives advertisers looking to outperform their competitors incremental and scalable traffic beyond their existing traditional UA channels. It functions as a separate app marketplace that is also designed for and dedicated to mobile games – with precise targeting and extensive data insights.

Go global with adjoe

Discover our UA platform