Has TikTok become the most direct marketing path to Gen Z? – RetailWire



Jul 02, 2021

In 2019, a number of articles speculated that the TikTok phenomenon would become a fad. However, a number of reports published in recent months point to the video application become a main tool to reach young consumers.

In May, eMarketer predicts that TikTok will overtake Instagram in the total number of Gen Z users in the United States by the end of 2021 and Snapchat by 2023.

“TikTok has an incredibly strong commitment and loyalty among Gen Z,” said Debra Aho Williamson, senior eMarketer analyst at Insider Intelligence, in a statement. “Members of this generation are using it not only for entertainment, but also increasingly for learning and discussing bigger issues such as climate change, politics and current affairs. Other social platforms offer such content as well, but TikTok’s unique video style and aesthetics are highly appealing to young people.

A recently published poll of IRI of women aged 17 to 23 in the United States found 39% discover new products through TikTok videos, only behind friends and family as the primary source.

IRI wrote in the report, “In the dozens of conversations we’ve had with Gen Z, TikTok has been commonly mentioned as the first place new products are often noticed. TikTok’s appeal fits perfectly with Gen Z’s general desire for have less “made” engagement and more “real people” organic content.

Other recent studies have also highlighted TikTok’s progress:

  • TikTok in May topped YouTube for average time spent per user in US and UK, according to mobile analytics company App Annie. The average user spent 24.5 hours per month on TikTok in the US
  • A study of mobile video ads on the Real eyes The video testing platform released in February found that user-generated and TikTok-branded videos outperformed Facebook and conventional ads on the Realeyes Quality Score, which measures a video’s ability to perform in direct to the market.
  • Sixty-eight percent of marketers and corporate brand agencies planned to use TikTok in their influencer marketing in a survey conducted in February and March by Linqia. This compares to 16% in a survey conducted in early 2020.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is TikTok overtaking Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and other social platforms as a tool for engagement and shopping discovery with young consumers? What drives its appeal and how are retailers and brands using the platform to connect with Gen Z?


“TikTok has shown enviable momentum as an influential retail channel.”




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