Dynamo Partners Managing Partner Stefan Bielau on App Store Localization

stefan bileau

Stefan Bielau, Managing Partner at Dynamo Partners was interviewed by Chris Reynolds at App Promotion Summit London 2014. We are now able to share the video and audio of the interview as well as a transcript. Thanks to Stefan for the interesting interview.

Dynamo Partners Managing Partner Stefan Bielau on App Store Localization, Video:

Dynamo Partners Managing Partner Stefan Bielau on App Store Localization, Audio:

Dynamo Partners Managing Partner Stefan Bielau on App Store Localization, Transcript:

We’re here at App Promotion Summit 2014 with Stefan Bielau, Managing Partner at Dynamo Partners. Stefan, nice to see you.

Thanks for having me.

Can you firstly explain a little about Dynamo Partners and what services you offer to app developers?

Sure, we are a consulting company based in Berlin, Cologne, as well as in Warsaw, Poland. We usually support clients in four major fields. The first one is usually dedicated to answering the questions, kind of idea, service, content. You want to mobilize, what are your expectations? What is your goal set? How that breaks down in to a business plan at the end of the day, as well as a product concept. Second part, we take care of the product development. We’re not coding ourselves, but we can lead the teams. We become the product owner at the end of the day, to handle internal development, external development, depending on the scope, size, and budget of the client. Third part, everything dedicated and related to user acquisition, media planning, localization services and ASO. And last but not least, and in our opinion the most important part, is we can advise and support you when it comes to user insights. So aggregating the data, analyzing it, answering the question, “Who is the user? What does he like, what does he not like?” Bring it back to the product in order to make it better. That’s us. Pretty hands-on across all kinds of categories of applications. Sometimes not even with applications at all. We support mobile WAP, SMS, whatever is required.

Great. And today you talked about app store localization. So can you explain what the main things are developers need to think about when localizing their app store presence?

Well, to basically satisfy the user’s needs, right? The user always comes first. If you look into a particular market, or region, or some specific audience in a certain country, their expectation is that not only the application is localized or comes in their native language, but also all the things which are related to the application, and that includes the app store, as well. So, basically, what is mean, localizing your meta-data, including the title, the scription tacts, screen shots, and so on and so forth in order to have that seamless approach, in terms of the user experience. App store, you can read it, you can understand it. Hopefully, you click install or download, and then you have the experience in the app as well.

Are there some territories that are more challenging to localize than others?

Well, I wouldn’t say so. I mean, it breaks down to a professional translation service you should apply, that always pays off, versus just using basic Google Translate. If you combine that with a group of people, maybe some native speakers you have within your network, you recruited yourself, to proofread at the end of the data translation, add some natural specific languages or words, or certain sayings to it to give it, really, the natural feel. That’s probably something important. I wouldn’t say that any specific language set has a bigger challenge. There might be some issues related to the limitations of the stores when it comes to a certain description length or length of a title, where you have limited character space. So I’m German, so German words, usually, are very long. Russian words are very long, or Indonesian words are pretty much longer than maybe the original English, or French, or Spanish expression. So keep that in mind because it limits your flexibility later on in terms of the scription size and stuff like that.

And does this have a big effect on discovery?

Oh it definitely has. I mean, today we’ve seen some great case studies from SoundCloud, from Vivid games, from Poland, where definitely they achieved higher sales, downloads, revenue at the end of the day just catering in a more user-centric, better way to the audiences. Yeah, that’s something that I definitely recommend at a certain stage when you see you have a certain demand from regions, from countries to localize for them.

Talking a bit more generally about app store discovery, do you think the app stores are heading in the right direction now when it comes to discoverability? And are they kind of getting away from ranking-based discovery?

Well, they’re getting better at least. I mean, they’re the ultimate destination so there’s no other way to get an application or to download an app at the end of the day. So they have to improve themselves. And I see definitely they are moving in the right direction, supporting discovery through something like video. Apple is coming out now with iOS8, and supporting video app trailers, so to say. Google has improved in terms of the social signal. So I see applications my friends are recommending or playing which I don’t have yet, taking out, once in a while, even those apps I already have installed from the charts perspective. These kinds of things. I mean, it’s the Holy Grail to crack that discovery issue. Certainly, other sources, outlets, maybe review sites, blogs, dedicated push services, networks, help to get the exposure for your app. But at the end of the day it’s the store itself, where the user has to convert into an install. Yeah, so it’s an open answer, sorry. But it’s an interesting thing to see where it leads.

Definitely. Stefan, thank you very much.

Thank you, guys.