How User Acquisition Managers can stay ahead of the curve with OEMs

OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) apps are a smart way to reach untapped audiences and gain an edge over your competitors.

Acquiring high-value users for mobile apps is a primary goal for app developers regardless of vertical or region, but the app market is developing at a rapid pace with more competition than ever before: An average of 1,153 new apps are released every day on the App Store and 3,119 new apps each day on the Google Play Store. Moreover, the unchallenged oligopoly of Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, also named GAFA, owns more than 70% of the US total digital marketing expenditure.

This underlines the challenge mobile marketers face when pushing for greater visibility and achieving their user acquisition targets. Fortunately, there are alternatives to GAFA platforms mobile marketers can use to help achieve their company goals and increase ROAS.

OEM (original equipment manufacturer) apps are a smart way to reach untapped audiences and gain an edge over your competitors. Although the term is also used in other manufacturing industries, it has a specific meaning for the mobile industry. OEMs refer to companies who manufacture their own phones  and create their own OEM apps. An example of a well-known Android OEM is Samsung, which sold 55.76 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2020.

OEMs are taking deliberate steps to offer a true and safe alternative to the overcrowded GAFA app stores. Companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo and Oppo are directly distributing applications to their customers via their own dedicated stores. According to the consultancy IDC, these four companies made up 40.1% of global handset shipments in the fourth quarter of 2019.

What are the key advantages of OEMs?

While mobile marketers may find it difficult to successfully maneuver through the different specifications and requirements for each of the alternative app stores when setting up, this gives marketers access to numerous benefits:

  • Achieve growth goals: OEMs enable marketers to grow on a global scale by reaching new audiences and accessing new markets.
  • Reach acquisition targets: OEMs offer higher user-acquisition whilst paying lower CPI (cost-per-install).
  • Enter a fraud-proof ecosystem: Marketers gain access to a fully fraud-free user-acquisition ecosystem. This is because there are no additional layers between the budget holder and the OEM, and reach advertising placement is fully controlled by the OEM.
  • Build trust with audience: Users who are brand-loyal to the OEM will view ads as more trustworthy.

Lead Analyst and Founder of MobileGroove, Peggy Anne Salz, outlined the importance of OEMs in mobile’s competitive market in her feature for MMA that there is a wealth of opportunity for marketers who tap the vast distribution opportunities offered by alternative app stores. It starts with a clear understanding of the unique characteristics of each app store and their business practices, and it extends to approaches that monitor app performance, track app interactions and – ultimately – ensure brand integrity.