#8 Be skeptical of trends, yet decisive when spotting a winner

 The TikTok Opportunity. Us marketers are guilty of jumping head straight on trying shiny new trends we get sold at every CES, MarTech conference, or webinars. Blockchain, AR, VR, 5G, Bots, Influencers … to name a few. For a more detailed list, a useful resource I always go back to is the Gartner Hype Cycle. Sorin is one of the cautious marketers, always using my skepticism to peel off the overblown benefit and get to the real core of the problem we are all aiming to solve: am I able to reach consumers better using this trick.

The trend of these days is TikTok, but that is easily an understatement. A social network coming out of nowhere 2-3 years ago, became the spotlight of these confinement times on our phones. Just two datapoints I came across this week made me think that, as a marketer, if you are not planning to use TikTok in 2020, you are probably are missing the train. And this train doesn’t seem to be an overblown trend; it’s where people are spending their time, it’s where the “hard-to-reach” younger audiences are playing, but not only them.

Between March 2019 and March 2020, it is impressive how TikTok became “older,” following the same path that Facebook and Instagram took while growing its user base to an estimated 0.8 billion monthly users. Add to this the average time spent with the app of 45minutes per day (hard to believe), and you might wonder why advertising is not all over the place. But really…45 minutes? That’s must be a big lie!

My second data point is a personal one and confirms the above numbers. Simply looking at my phone usage stats last week, I was shocked to see that TikTok became my most used app by far. It could be that its addictive algorithm makes 4 hours fly by very fast, it could be that music helps you watch and rewatch posts, but when I saw how easy it was to create content using my videos and images, on a famous music track, I started playing even more. But, the entire time I was using TikTok, in Belgium, I haven’t been served a single piece of advertising. Crazy! The age profile is right, the usage time is ridiculously high, the competition is not there (yet). So what are all you marketeers waiting for? Make a TikTok brand challenge, create some content, play with it!

Did you think about creating a TikTok challenge with your brand at the core? 

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