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App Marketing Spotlight: Seizing Opportunities in Latin America

In the rapidly expanding world of mobile apps, geographic expansion is the key to success. To kick off our App Marketing Spotlight series, we’ve chosen to focus on a region that’s seeing exponential growth: Latin America, with a specific emphasis on the Spanish-speaking territories.

Boasting a population in the hundreds of millions, Latin America is a goldmine for app developers aiming to broaden their user base. However, this diverse region is not homogenous, and each country is imbued with unique characteristics and cultural differences. This makes mobile marketing a challenging, yet exciting endeavor, requiring a deep understanding of the region’s dynamics.

The Mobile Market Growth Spurred by Economic Prosperity

Latin America’s recent economic upswing, particularly in countries like Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Chile, has led to an interesting phenomenon. These nations have experienced substantial growth in their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), which has had a direct impact on their mobile markets.

This economic growth has led to an exciting observation for app developers: the proportion of iOS device users has seen a notable increase in these countries. Although the particulars can vary greatly depending on the territory, the app category, and the nature of the app itself, a 2:1 ratio is commonly applied to revenues generated by iOS versus Android. With more users flocking to the higher-spending devices, businesses operating in this sphere must pay close attention to this shift.

Exploring the Connection between iOS Adoption and GDP: A Closer Look

The correlation between the increase in GDP and the uptake of iOS devices is a captivating phenomenon that has been observed by researchers and industry experts (Insight Portal). The attached graphic offers a vivid depiction of the recent evolution of iOS devices in Mexico.

The underlying message is clear: a growing economy often leads to an increased adoption of iOS devices. However, it’s worth noting that while the adoption rates are on the rise, there’s still considerable room for growth in Latin American countries.

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Importantly, this isn’t a trend confined to iOS devices. Android devices also are enjoying an increased audience base, thanks to the region’s improving GDP per capita. Android ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) is also on the rise, providing yet another exciting opportunity for businesses.

Navigating the App Store Landscape in Latin American Countries

As your business gears up to tap into the immense potential of Latin American markets, a crucial point of consideration is the intricacies of App Store and Play Store presences in this region.

Currently, the App Store only allows developers to create metadata in Mexican Spanish, alongside Spanish from Spain. The Play Store, on the other hand, supports Latin American Spanish. While this might seem sufficient at first glance, it’s important to remember that Latin America comprises 20 countries, each with its own unique dialect and cultural idiosyncrasies.

To draw a parallel, it’s akin to treating the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom as a single entity because they all speak English. However, we know that differences in currencies, grammar, and local customs are crucial and must be taken into account. The same principle applies to Latin American territories.

Tailoring Your App Presence: A One-Size-Fits-All Approach or a Customized Strategy?

With these considerations in mind, the first major decision that companies need to make revolves around their App Store Marketing approach. Should they use a generic Spanish presence for all Latin American countries, or should they develop a separate app for each country, incorporating specific terms and expressions unique to each location?

This decision can be influenced by various factors, including the company’s target audience, budget, and resources. Developing a unique app for each country can facilitate deeper connections with local users and enhance user experience. However, it can also inflate development and maintenance costs.

Some companies might find a middle ground by creating unique apps for their top target territories while maintaining a more generic presence in other regions. Other considerations include whether the app needs to target local markets explicitly. For instance, a banking institution might require a high degree of personalization, while a graphic design app could take a more balanced approach to cater to a broader range of Latin American territories.

Using Data to Decide Territories on iOS

When it comes to deciding which territories to prioritize, a data-driven approach can prove invaluable. We suggest a simple calculation: Multiply the population by the percentage share of iOS devices in the territory, and then by the Gross Domestic Product at PPP. The resulting figure can provide a measure of the iOS Storefront Value per country, helping you make an informed decision.

The next graphic shows iOS storefront value for each country analysed. As you can see in this graph Mexico is the one that stands out above the rest of the countries in terms of storefront value.

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No auto-matic translations

When building a marketing strategy in Latin America, it’s crucial to be aware of the regional linguistic intricacies. A simple example to consider is the myriad ways to refer to a car. The term “coche”, for instance, while common in some regions, varies considerably across countries. Our research indicates that in Argentina, the term “auto” predominantly takes the wheel, whereas in Peru, “coche” and “auto” share the road almost equally. On the other hand, Ecuadorians commonly favor the word “carro”. This divergence is highlighted below with carro represented by red and auto by green on the accompanying map.

But don’t put your linguistic GPS away yet, because this verbal variation extends beyond automobiles. Take a common piece of clothing: ‘jeans.’ While “pantalones vaqueros” is frequently used in Spain, in many Latin American countries, you’ll hear the term “jeans” or “pantalones de mezclilla”. Similarly, what you call a ‘cellphone’ might shift as you traverse borders: It’s “móvil” in Spain, “celular” in countries like Argentina and Colombia, and “teléfono” in others.

So, when marketing in Latin America, ensure you’re speaking the local language, not just Spanish.

Utilizing Apple Search Ads to Boost Your Marketing Efforts

Rounding out our considerations for successful app positioning in Latin America is the recognition of where Apple Search Ads are available – a service not universally provided across the region. This powerful tool can significantly enhance app visibility and elevate download rates, making its presence – or absence – a noteworthy factor in your marketing strategy. Take a moment to peruse the following heat map that graphically demonstrates the geographical dispersion of Apple Search Ads across Latin America. It’s a colorful guide to where your app could be getting an additional boost.

There are countless other facets to consider when crafting a mobile marketing strategy tailored to the unique contours of each Latin American country. If you’re looking to launch an application and need in-depth insights or bespoke advice to enhance your app’s App Store Optimization (ASO) within the Latin American market, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always here, eager to assist and guide you on your journey to success!

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