Omnicom’s Flywheel gets certified with TikTok Shop as it ties creators to sales results

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Omnicom kept up its raft of announcements and partnerships during Cannes Lions this week. The latest move has the holding company’s e-commerce specialist Flywheel getting certification from TikTok Shop, Digiday has learned. 

The move is important because by doing so, Omnicom and Flywheel can connect creator content to sales, another example of the holding company striving to move beyond media metrics to reach sales metrics for its clients investments. In a way, when it comes to social commerce, it’s a way of finally answering the famous Wanamaker quote on which part of advertising works. 

Through the certification, Flywheel aims to help Omnicom clients leverage TikTok for its e-commerce benefits in much the same way it would Amazon, Walmart, or other e-marketplaces — namely to drive incremental sales. The holding company is combining a cross-network team that can incorporate Flywheel’s ability to manage and scale digital commerce executions with Omnicom’s influencer investment practice along with an AI-powered Q cultural  insights solution (from Omnicom Media Group’s Sparks & Honey) in a bid to connect commerce, content, and culture to drive sales on TikTok Shop. 

Omnicom’s move here is spurred in part by recent research it conducted that showed the purchase funnel is no longer a linear downward path (nearly half of all Gen Z and millennial respondents to its study reported they’ve gone through the entire purchase journey based on a single influencer post). It also builds on a partnership Omnicom and TikTok announced during CES 2024, which gave the holding company access to creators in TikTok’s Creative Exchange.

“Those that are specifically under the age of 30 are increasingly trustworthy of social selling experiences,” explained Kevin Blazaitis who oversees Omnicom Media Group’s integrated influencer practice. “So if you think about combining all of the ways that you can reach somebody, collapse the purchase funnel and do so at scale, we now have some really unique, differentiated capabilities to do that and protect brands, but also use that data to predict future performance in a way that nobody else does.”

“Flywheel is kind of the special sauce of all this,” said Megan Pagliuca, chief activation officer at Omnicom Media Group, which is working most closely with Flywheel and the influencer practice. “We now have this capability where we can do data-driven planning and measurement of influencers with Tiktok shop optimization.”

“We can now offer a brand the ability, just like we can on Amazon, to go with a one stop shop deployment through Tiktok on a global basis, which definitely differentiates us for all brands worldwide,” added Duncan Painter, Flywheel’s CEO, who noted how some of this knowledge was developed in Asian markets where the company has strong roots. “Because no one else can do at-scale, reach-of-audience, reach-of-market, reach-of-commerce, sale-of-product and data back in multi regions around the world.”

Nico LeBourgoise, head of TikTok Shop operations in the U.S., said the move to certify Flywheel  “deepens TikTok’s long-standing relationship withOmnicom … Flywheel will play a crucial role in the e-commerce ecosystem on TikTok Shop, giving sellers and creators the support and expertise they need to scale their business and bring joy to shopping.”

Clients are ready to give this a shot, even some that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of as Tik Tok Shop endemics. “We understand the need to connect culture and commerce into a variety of places to meet consumers where they are in the purchase journey,” said Nicole Kane, vp of media and marketing transformation at Bimbo Bakeries U.S. “We’re excited to hear about further integration between Omnicom and TikTok to tie purchase to TikTok content, allowing BBU brands to capitalize on cultural moments and further quantify what our spend could bring us in this space.”

What it all means, said Blazaitis, “when you think about scale and when you think about commerce, the ability to really leverage the technology that [Omnicom’s operating platform] Omni has gives Omnicom unique differentiators to scale influencer content. And I think that is what’s really powerful. What makes it even more powerful is combining the sales data that Flywheel and Tik Tok Shop now give us access to in a closed environment.”

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