Nearly 80% of consumers in various countries across the globe own smartphones. According to Adobe, visits based on mobile browsing continue to grow by at least 16% year over year.

Consumers turn to apps and mobile browsing for information when they need it immediately. But with a growing mobile marketing space, the challenge for mobile marketers is understanding behaviours across cultures in order to appeal to different international markets.

For example, there are regional preferences for internet access on cellular networks vs. Wi-Fi. A Deloitte mobile consumer trends report found that 4G speeds are consistently higher in developed markets than Wi-Fi speeds. Chinese users prefer 4G speeds when commuting, while Mexican users opt for Wi-Fi instead. These differences, along with many others, influence international performance marketing benchmarks.

Performance marketers already have a strong grasp of domestic benchmarks, but entering a foreign market means they’ll need to defer to a whole new set. Here we’ll consider three growing mobile markets: India, Brazil and China.

India: mobile phone as essential utility

India accounts for 9% of global app downloads, making the country the world’s third-largest smartphone market. This is important data for performance marketers to pay attention to. Indian mobile owners are more likely to make in-app purchases than users in other Asian countries. However, mobile marketers should take note that Indians tend to download fewer paid apps than consumers in other parts of the world. This behaviour is likely because many mobile users in India, especially in regions outside of the larger cities, are stuck with slow 2G connectivity and expensive data plans.

Key Benchmarks

If you choose to pursue the Indian market, keep in mind its connectivity issues as well as usage habits. Your key benchmarks should be:

  • App performance: Knowing your app’s data usage, crash rate and network errors will help you address any issues that may reduce user engagement.
  • Session length: Paying attention to session length will help you determine how long Indian users normally spend on apps they find valuable.
  • Retention: Keep an eye on retention rate over different periods of time (one week, one month).

Brazil: willing to experiment and engage

It’s estimated that by 2019, 46.5% of digital ad spending in Latin America will occur in Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy. Mobile use is high in this country — 19% of all e-commerce transactions in Brazil were mobile purchases. It was expected that 41.1 million people in Brazil would make at least one purchase via computer or mobile device in 2016.

Not everyone owns a desktop computer in Brazil, but nearly everyone has a mobile phone. Smartphone and tablet market share is growing fast in Brazil, and similar to users in India, they use their mobile devices for everything. As new users obtain smartphones, they’re looking for interesting entertainment, social, and gaming apps to try.

Key benchmarks

For the Brazilian market, be sure to focus on game-related benchmarks such as:

  • User acquisition: Consider marketing spend from total revenue, CPI and first week ROI.
  • Game monetisation: Tracking average revenue per user (ARPU) and user’s lifetime value (LTV) allows you to see which Brazilian users are spending more in your app.
  • Retention: Monitor user retention over various periods of time as retention rates vary between entertainment and gaming apps.

China: e-commerce and international shopping

China is the world’s largest smartphone market. Approximately a quarter of the 2 billion smartphones worldwide are used in China, and almost 80% of the population was expected to own a mobile phone by the end of 2016.

Chinese consumers are interested in cross-border e-commerce — mobile users are specifically searching for foreign products. This means that retail apps will highly appeal to the Chinese market.

Key benchmarks

Users in China are interested in foreign products and brands, but because localisation is a potential barrier to success, it’s important to look at:

  • App engagement: Focus on app launches, session length and time spent in app to see how Chinese users interact with your app.
  • Click rates: Compare user responsiveness to push notifications vs. in-app messages.
  • Retention: It’s difficult to maintain a high retention rate with most apps, so it’s crucial to look at user retention and identify where the drop-off period is.

As mobile usage continues to build around the world, mobile marketers have an excellent opportunity to connect with a growing audience. However, across countries, no one userbase is alike. By developing strategies unique to each market, you can tailor your mobile campaigns for best results with your target audience.

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