5 MIN READ, JAN 21, 2020
How do you know whether your product will be in demand in a new market? How to monetize your product in the new geographical area? What channels should be used for that? Based on his expertise, Anton Marchanka (Head of Marketing at Apalon) shared some secrets on how to reach less-known emerging markets during his enriching talk at GROWTH stage at EMERGE 2019.
Anton Marchanka at Emerge 2019
Anton Marchanka at EMERGE 2019. Snapshot by Onliner.
Five years ago the business of Apalon was mainly focused on the developed markets. However, later on, they understood the importance of emerging markets for their product development and growth and started reaching them.

Why did they decide to do so? Let's start with the simple facts. From 2014 to 2018 the revenue share of the mobile non-gaming applications in China raised ten times. It is indeed a pretty high increase demonstrating a huge interest in the Chinese gaming market. Apart from China, there is a number of other emerging markets that are going up and worth paying attention to.
Non-gaming revenue share
'Non-Gaming Revenue Share' from Anton's presentation
During his presentation, Anton introduced five simple but interesting steps that can help companies to make their products valuable and be successful on the market.

5 Steps 'How-to-Guide' to Emerging Markets

STEP 1: Product. You need to make sure your product is really needed. For this you need to take a look at a local market and find the users' patterns of behavior. That's what exactly has been done for a NOAA Weather Radar mobile application. This app is a great source of weather forecasts based on the radar map, where users can see upcoming hurricanes, thunderstorms, etc. However, due to different issues, this function wasn't really available in Asian countries. The marketing test revealed that users are ready to pay for this function and the radar map with a few adjustments has been added to the map of Asia. As a result, the number of downloads, for example in Thailand, increased four times.

With this story, Anton pointed out that it is pretty essential to explore the user's sphere and discover their needs and demands from your product. Afterward, this will result in more installs and more revenue for your company.
NOAA Weather Radar Apolon
'NOAA Weather Radar mobile app' from Anton's presentation
STEP 2: Localization. While entering new emerging markets, for example, Mexico, Brazil, China, you need to know the local slang of your target audience. Anton presented two cases that clearly demonstrated how knowledge of user slang works.

The first case is Paloma, a women period tracker. The first variation of the app's name was Viola, a cute woman's name. However, while Apalon considered entering the Spanish-speaking market, it turned out that in Spanish there is a word 'violar' which means 'to rape'. Therefore, it was decided not to use the name Viola for the mobile app as it will definitely be associated with rape in Latin America, but not with a pretty woman.
Paloma mobile app Spanish market
'Paloma mobile app in Spanish market' from Anton's presentation
Even a more interesting story happened to Paloma in China. The most popular Chinese women period tracker has a pretty different icon style, resembling an old lady or aunt. Why is it like that? All women in China have their own local slang when they are talking about periods, they call them 'Big Aunt is coming', whereas women in Belarus, for example, name menstruation as 'critical days'.
Paloma mobile app Chinese market
'Paloma mobile app in Chinese market' from Anton's presentation
Again, as it was outlined above, it’s all about slang. If your company wants to be successful in specific local markets, you need to learn local slang, as it really matters.
STEP 3: Monetization. It is a vital part, as you should know how users prefer to pay for your product. For finding a preferable way for monetization, you can use one of the most important metrics presnted below for any kind of digital products.
LTV (Lifetime value) = ARPU (Average revenue per user) x Lifetime value (a number of paid periods).
In Apalon, for calculating Average Revenue per User (ARPU) they use such metrics as subscription price and Conversion Ratio (CVR). A lifetime value (LTV) corresponds to the number of paid periods.
Monetization Scanner for Me Apolon
'Monetization for Scanner for Me mobile app' from Anton's presentation
However, because of the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement for Product), Anton discussed an example for the application 'Scanner for Me' based on mummy trolls that live in China and pay for the products in bitcoins. The first hypothesis says that China is an emerging market and mummy trolls do not want to pay lots of Bitcoins, in this case, a monthly 'one bitcoin' subscription was chosen.
Monetization Scanner for Me Mummy Trolls
'Mummy trolls example for Scanner for Me mobile app' from Anton's presentation
After the test launch, it was discovered that the number of buying periods was lower than it was expected. The LTV result was 1 bitcoin which was not enough to set up a constant user acquisition in order to drive Apalon’s revenue.

After conducting some analytics, they came up with another theory. China is an emerging market and mummy trolls are not ready to pay any recurring price and the subscription model was adjusted to their behavior. The annual subscription model was proposed and, after, the test results revealed that the CVR was 50% lower and the number of paid periods was low too. But due to the higher subscription price and stable CVR, the LTV result was increased 2 times.
Subcription Model Scanner for Me
'The subscription model for Scanner for Me mobile app' from Anton's presentation
STEP 4: User acquisition. While working with localization products, marketers boost up their efforts on gaining new users. Thus, you need to make sure you know where your audience is and how they behave on core vendors.

Anton presented two cases of Apalon applications 'Live Wallpapers for Me' and 'Scanner for Me'. The marketing team in Apalon did lots of tests to know how and where people in China consume content. They found out that there is a large scale of local social applications. This knowledge helped them to discover 'TikTok' as the right channel for selling 'Live Wallpapers for Me' and Tou Tiao for the 'Scanner for Me'.
Relevant vendors for Apolon apps
'Relevant vendors for Apalon's mobile apps' from Anton's presentation
After that, Apalon was surprised to know that the content produced by them is not relevant for the Chinese market. Thus, they decided to seek help from local creators. When the local creators made content for 'Live Wallpapers for Me' with their mindset, it turned out that this application had better performance and attracted more users to the mobile application.
STEP 5: Analytics. When you're entering the emerging markets, it is essential to check analytics on regular basis. Once all analytics are done, you need to make sure to have full data about all your user segments in your marketing funnel report. You don't have to be focused on CVRs only. But you also have to use a down-funnel events framework.
Down-Funnel Events
'Down-Funnel Events' from Anton's presentation
As long as you have different selling parts inside the application, you need to make sure you have all the data in each spot of the interaction process with users. Here is an example. It is a known fact that most of the users coming from launch promo but they can’t be described as highly valued users. A lot of users want to see the features, prices, test the application first and only after all these steps they might make a decision whether to buy a subscription or not. In this case, you need to know your user’s behavior and interaction with the feature’s promos; how you’re going to present limited-time offers and setting up the win-back promos and re-engagement campaign. Knowing all these down-funnel events will help marketers to see the full process from initial impression to the final user re-engagement with your application.
The proposed 'how-to guide for the emerging markets' will help you not only to find the right markets for presenting your tech solutions but also to get-to-know their specific features for the successful product launch.

We hope this article will be useful to you and your team.
Come back to our blog for future updates. Stay tuned!
Contributing Author, EMERGE
Team coordinator and business analyst in IT. Passionate about salsa dance.
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