Sonar Academy – Australian Retailers: Should you introduce TikTok as part of your Christmas marketing strategy?

Scott Heron
November 10, 2020

It was great to talk to Lucio Riberio (, founder of Tik My Day ( about TikTok in Australia and whether Australian Retailers should consider as part of their marketing mix this Christmas, and considerations if they were to use the platform to get the most out of it.

Here is a recording of the session:

And here is a high-level summary of the key points:


Why TikTok?

TikTok has over 6 million Australians on the platform.

1 in 4 people on the platform can’t be reached on Facebook and Instagram.

There is a rule of thumb that says the optimum number of channels to achieve full mass reach is 5 channels.

TikTok can be part of a multi-platform strategy to achieve full-mass reach, and fill in the blanks left from Facebook and Instagram.   

TIkTok is an engagement platform based around positivity and entertainment.  As a result, a brands ads show up around a good experience – which further lift brand perception.

It currently has cost effective brand metrics around reach/impressions.  Potentially as a result of few brands currently using the platform.


What about the Negative.

Social media has a brand issue in general – not just TikTok.

TikTok has a heritage issue by being Chinese, with the current political climate and trade tensions with the China.

The difference, and TikTok advantage, is its algorithm.  TikTok is a better recommendation engine.  It isn’t about demographics, but what the user likes and engages with, serving the user the content that is suited to the user.  This is less scary.

TikTok is working around issues and providing local hosting.


Audience and Age

Perception of TikTok as very young.20% of people on TikTok are under 18.  Still young as not a lot over 50, but strong growth around age 30s.

This is a group with disposable income.  Likely a good audience for retailers.


What are some key hints and tips for Retail brands to engage on the platform

 The ‘don’t make ads’ proposition is a bit silly.  TikTok is an ad platform.  It has great reach.  It is both effective and efficient.

 Focus on the top of funnel primarily.  Retail features are coming in terms of shoppable ads but not there yet.

 Content doesn’t need to be bespoke for the platform.  Apple’s ads are very similar to their TV ads. 

 Experiment and play with content.


Example of a brand using TikTok well – Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart has had great success with the #DealDropDance hashtag challenge.  These challenges can be effective through the following steps:

  1. Brand creates content under a proprietary hashtag
  2. Brand pays influencers to do a challenge
  3. Brand tops up strategy with paid ads

 The budget for a hashtag challenge can be quite high at $100k.


Final words

Retailers should give TikTok a try.  Start small.  Get set up.  Run a few ads.  Pay attention to the metrics.  Start with branding and reach.


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