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Digiday+ Research: TikTok is hot, but agencies are skeptical of whether it works

The lead image shows an illustration of money with the TikTok logo in the center.

TikTok has captured the imagination of marketers and increasingly larger portions of their ad dollars as they hotly pursue the young cohort flocking daily to the platform by the millions. But these are early days of the platform’s appeal among the 86 agency execs surveyed in February that actually spend client budgets on TikTok — less than 20% say they are at least “confident” it works, far behind the social platforms that have dominated digital marketing for years now.

About a fifth of agency executives that spend client marketing budgets on TikTok surveyed in February ar at least confident it is an effective channel.

In general, agencies and their brand clients — 145 of who were polled in February — direct a fairly small amount of their media to non-Meta-owned social channels like TikTok along with Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit. The majority said they either spend a very small part of their budget on these channels — or none at all, which comes as somewhat of a surprise given the attention paid to them by the consuming public. Still, the fact that all these channels, save Reddit, register at all among advertisers spending a “large portion” or “very large portion” indicates their futures are bright as marketing options.

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