Language Localization: Pushing Mobile Ad Conversion Across the Globe

Written on
Apr 24, 2014 
Jud Bowman  |

ADOTAS – Language localization is a key performance differentiator for mobile marketers that has proven to drive increased click-through rates and conversions. As marketers continue to find new ways to be competitive in the space, the need for language-related services is increasing, especially with smartphone usage skyrocketing worldwide. Let’s explore the strategy, tactics and results from a recent language localization testing wave – and how the findings provide insight to the broader mobile advertising landscape.

Test Overview

Appia conducted a test across its ad network in three key markets across the globe, focused on returning localized ads based on the mobile device’s language. The objective was to show the value of performance-based mobile marketing, how to incorporate localized ads, and the value of creative optimization within overall mobile marketing strategies.

Test Field & Execution

The top five performing (English language) campaigns from within Appia’s ad network were identified and leveraged for localization testing within three key markets: Spain, France and Germany. For each campaign, the short descriptions (the copy within the advertisements) were translated into Spanish, French and German.

The translated campaigns were then distributed through Appia’s mobile ad network based on the mobile devices’ programmed languages. The English campaigns ran simultaneously, with traffic being served evenly based upon real time visits to a mobile app or website.

Test Results

Eighty-six percent of the localized campaign creatives out-performed the English versions in both click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates.

The English creative had an average CTR of 2.35% and a conversion rate of 7.47%. The localized versions saw click-through rates of 3.34% – an increase of 42%, and 9.08% conversion rates – a 22% lift over the English creative. The increases seen can be directly correlated with the use of localized creative in the mobile ads.

The results show that localized campaigns will outperform English creative in global markets. Returning ads in a device’s language of choice will create higher engagement and enhance user experience, leading to increased click-through rates and ultimately, higher conversion rates. Incorporating localized creative is a must for performance-based mobile marketers.

Jud Bowman is the founder and CEO of Appia and has helped grow the company into the largest cross platform, app install network in the world. In September 2012, the Wall Street Journal ranked Appia #22 on its 2012 list of the Top 50 venture-backed companies. Appia has raised $30 million in venture capital from investors including Venrock, DCM’s A-Fund, Trident Capital, Eric Schmidt’s TomorrowVentures, Relay Ventures, The Social Internet Fund, Noro-Moseley Partners & Wakefield Group.Prior to Appia, Jud co-founded Motricity (Nasdaq: MOTR) in September 1999 and was instrumental in growing the company to more than $100 million in annual revenue and 500 employees globally. As Motricity’s Chief Technology Officer, Jud was the chief architect of one of the industry’s leading mobile content delivery platforms – a platform that delivered more than $3 billion of content to mobile phones. Motricity was named the 2006 Best Service Delivery Platform by the GSM Association, Best Content Service Delivery Platform by Mobile Entertainment magazine, and honored by Frost & Sullivan as the Premium Mobile Content Platform of the Year in 2005. In June 2010, Motricity successfully completed a $50 million IPO co-led by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan and achieved a market capitalization as high as $1.25 billion. Jud has been named one of the world’s “Top 100 Young Innovators” by MIT’s Technology Review and one of “Tech’s Best Young Entrepreneurs” by BusinessWeek in 2007. He was also recognized as a winner of the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in the Carolinas in 2001 and 2010. Jud is currently on leave from Stanford University, where he was named a President’s Scholar, and is a graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

In September 2011, Motricity co-founders Jud and Taylor Brockman announced the creation of the Bowman-Brockman Endowment for Entrepreneurship & Advanced Research at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics with an initial gift of $100K. Jud has served on the Board of Directors of the NCSSM Foundation and the Council for Entrepreneurial Development. In October 2011, Governor Bev Perdue appointed Jud to the North Carolina Board of Science & Technology.

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