The Bigger Lesson from Tik Tok’s Federal Troubles

Last week, the FCC renewed its request for Apple to remove TikTok from its app store due to suspected Chinese espionage on the app’s American users. 

Apparently, the federal government has evidence that our TikTokking behavior is a massive learning lab for the Chinese government as well as a site of foreign influence.

After Cambridge Analytica and the Russian purchase of manipulative Facebook ads in 2016, it’s not hard to believe our government may have a point.

Look, Tiktok may continue to elude a federal ban. ByteDance may, for example, set up a U.S.-based ecosystem disconnected from the Chinese mothership to comply with U.S. federal demands. Unlikely, though, if the entire purpose was what our government alleges (and not what it appears: selling ads). 

This platform-specific problem reveals a much bigger one. As a company, you need to diversify your points of execution. You never want most/all your marketing $ in one communications medium. Even if that one medium is killing it on ROAS, you need strong execution in at least two sales channels, marketing media, etc., for any long-term marketing playbook. 

Dr. Squatch never relied solely on Youtube ads, even though that’s where the beast took off in 2020. 

Diversification is also good in sales and marketing, not just in financial investments. 

If you want to dump some money on TikTok before pitching your brand to buyers within 12 months, you may get away with it. 

Dr. James Richardson

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