Volume 13 No. 1: Is the clock ticking for TikTok?

TikTok has over 100 million American users, and US marketers will spend more than $11 billion on the app by the end of 2023. In fact, 3 out of every 4 marketers expect to increase TikTok spending next year. 

But rumors have been swirling about a possible ban of the app since the summer of 2020. And in March, TikTok’s CEO appeared before Congress in a hearing that lasted five hours. 

The threat of a ban is just one part of a larger story. A story about data privacy on social platforms. For marketers, that could mean a lot is about to change. 


How should marketers respond to talk of a TikTok ban?  

Each week, we break down another marketing concept so you can skip the hype and get directly to what works. 

The TikTok ban story is a rollercoaster ride of rumors, executive orders, and data privacy concerns. But it hasn’t stopped most marketers from spending on the app. They love being able to reach its young and engaged audience. And there are valid reasons supporting why a TikTok ban seems unlikely, from first amendment concerns to the fact that there’s no precedent for a ban like this. 

But even the threat of a ban is about much more than TikTok. Data privacy on social platforms ranging from Facebook to Snapchat has been in the spotlight for months now. And concerns are unlikely to fade anytime soon. So whether or not TikTok is actually banned, it may still signal stormy weather ahead for marketers who depend on digital advertising to drive results. 

So, how should marketers be thinking about the ongoing challenges of data privacy on social platforms? Here are a few places to get started: 

  1. Diversify your advertising channels. Don't rely solely on TikTok or any single platform. Balance your marketing efforts between digital and traditional channels (like TV, print, or radio) that build trust for your brand.

  2. Be mindful of data privacy. Stay informed about the latest data privacy regulations and best practices for handling user data. Ensure your marketing efforts comply with all relevant regulations by prioritizing user privacy.

  3. Adapt and conquer. Keeping a pulse on the ever-changing landscape of social media and digital marketing is just the start. You must also be ready to adapt your strategies as new regulations emerge.

  4. Build a brand that shines. Regardless of the platform or channel, focus on building a strong brand that resonates with your target audience. Building trust and loyalty with your audience will help you weather any storm

Key Takeaway: The TikTok discussion highlights a larger conversation around data privacy. Marketers should prepare for changes by diversifying their marketing mix, staying updated on the latest regulations, and building a brand that’s bigger than any one channel. 


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