With Dedicated App Stores, Mobile OEMs are Vigorously Challenging the Duopoly” Says Ashwin Shekhar

When is the last time you discovered an app that exactly fulfills your needs without making you think of another similar app and not delete it once you find one? Must be a long time back! App ads that we come across though are personalized to some extent, leave a lot of advertising space, in terms of user discovery and user retention, unexplored by the advertisers. Now that on-device marketing is possible with OEM advertising, either directly or through partners, it has become easy to observe user behavior throughout the transactional cycle. AVOW, a mobile advertising platform explores this left-out space to lure users to discover apps across the app stores, for advertisers to extract maximum ROAS (Revenue on Ad Spends). Analytics Insight has engaged in an exclusive interview with Ashwin Shekhar, AVOW technologies.


1.Kindly brief us about the company and the products/services that AVOW offers?

AVOW is a leading app growth marketing company specialized in advertising within alternative app stores, on-device ad placements and dynamic preloads. In a nutshell, we offer app developers and brands a unique opportunity to access untapped mobile advertising inventory via mobile OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, Samsung, Realme, and Transsion.


2.What is your biggest USP that differentiates the company from competitors?

AVOW offers a one-stop solution for mobile OEM aggregation that empowers app discovery across alternative app stores while ensuring a higher return on ad spend (ROAS). This grants advertisers the opportunity to interact and engage with an untapped audience that cannot be reached through social, search, or SDK networks.

  • Our value proposition includes:
  • Access to 1.5+ billion daily active users (DAU) 
  • Risk-free CPI inventory from the start
  • Transparency and complete control over traffic 
  • Premium ad placements and advanced targeting options in alternative app stores 
  • 100% Fraud Free Ad Units, as confirmed by major MMPs 
  • Optimized real-time enhanced engagement levels 

This year we introduced our offering for “Dynamic Preloads” to the Indian market, which grants our clients the exclusive possibility to be featured on thousands of smartphones right from the get-go, when new users activate their mobile devices for the first time.


3.Please share AVOW’s growth plans in India

India is a very important market for us when it comes to OEM advertising. India leads second in global smartphone usage after China with close to 500 million users, making it a highly relevant market for apps to leverage OEMs and their alternative app stores for app marketing. AVOW’s integrated OEM share in India covers 90% of the total market. 

At AVOW, our mission is to augment awareness around the great potential that lies for app developers in working with mobile OEMs. To achieve this mission in India as well, we will keep working towards educating mobile marketers and app developers about various advantages of mobile OEMs when integrated into their mobile marketing mix. With India as our largest inventory market, we are focusing on on-device display ads delivery, retargeting, and Dynamic Preload services as key strategic areas. 

In order to pave the way for more localized account management in the region, we have a team of four people on the ground, including the recent onboarding of Sandeep Negi as our new Associate Director of Sales. Sandeep, a seasoned media sales veteran, will oversee our business expansion in the country with the help of three members from the Marketing & Client Strategy departments.

Due to the diverse audience mix, we are proactive with our approach in leveraging seasonality such as IPL and the upcoming festival of Diwali, including other regional festivities while drafting campaigns.  


4.What are some of the challenges faced by the industry today? And where are we going from here? 

With the recent rise in inflation and market shrinking, advertisers are tightening their spending. We are also seeing trends where advertisers are reaching limits to get dedicated new users from their marketing efforts. Given the fact that marketing behavior is significantly increasing among the big brands for the upcoming festive season after two years of the pandemic, advertisers are finding it hard to keep their brand’s visibility consistent. So how can they really tackle growth in such times? Advertisers need to shift their focus to a more robust ecosystem of measuring KPIs which are performance-centric such as mobile OEMs. Mobile OEMs allow retargeting options through different ad formats to help advertisers fulfill down-the-funnel goals, thus helping mobile marketers to acquire fraud-free and brand-loyal users. 

As a viable and lucrative alternative to traditional play stores, mobile OEM advertising platforms are steadily reshaping the mobile app ecosystem. By providing their own dedicated app stores (along with their own inventory and ad units), mobile OEMs are vigorously challenging the duopoly and offering a disruptive alternative for app developers and brands looking to drive installs and other conversions outside of conventional search and social. Notably, India saw 27 billion (the second highest) app downloads in 2021. 


5.Mention some of the awards, achievements, recognitions, and clients’ feedback that you feel are notable and valuable for the company. 

Some of the AVOW’s biggest achievements include –

  • We are the only company holding official partnerships major mobile OEMs such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, and OnePlus, which encapsulates a huge market share of 90% of India’s Android mobile market
  • We have been selected as Xiaomi’s official core agency to handle and manage all media sales activities for Xiaomi’s MiAds platform in the entire EMEA, SEA, and LATAM markets
  • We have been ranked twice in AppsFlyer Performance Index in its 13th and 14th editions consecutively in the top 10
  • We are featured as a certified partner of Huawei  and are one of their biggest media resellers
  • We have won the prestigious ‘Strategic Partner Award’ in Europe from Huawei


6.What is your Leadership Mantra?

As a team of 4 company co-founders with very different backgrounds and strengths, we lead the pack with the following mantras: Leading with Vision, Leading with Drive, Leading to Deliver, and Leading through People.

  • A leader strong in the Leading with Vision domain tends to focus on strategy, innovation, and inspiring the team.
  • A leader strong in Leading with Drive provides the team with very clear direction and is focused on achieving excellence.
  • The strength of a Leading to Deliver leader lies in planning, follow-through, and accountability.
  • And a leader strong in Leading through People focuses on coaching and developing the team and creating win-win partnerships.

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