Travel & Hospitality


Financial Services and TikTok: A Match Made in Gen Z?

By Erin Bankaitis Sep 01 2021

For social media brands, scale is essential and few, if any, social media platforms have experienced the sort of explosive growth that TikTok has. Thanks to my Gen Z sister, I happened to be an early adopter of the platform, so I can understand why it presents such a tempting target for marketers. After all, by the end of year TikTok will have 73.7 million monthly active users in the US alone. Plus, these users aren’t just spending significant amounts of time on the app (second only to Facebook, as it happens), they’re also making purchases—28.2% of Gen Z consumers have purchased at least one product that they’ve seen on the platform.

For financial services brands, then, the question becomes: Should you be marketing to Gen Z consumers on TikTok? From my perspective, the answer is yes and no.

One of the biggest and most common customer engagement mistakes we see is marketers blindly copying other products’ acquisition flows. There’s a tendency to think “If it worked for them, it’ll work for us,” even if the experience doesn’t actually make sense for your audience or your brand. To avoid wasting precious ad dollars, marketers need to have a solid understanding of their current and prospective customers, the use cases that they’re serving, and the behaviors they’re looking to drive.

You can’t do that effectively if your acquisition efforts are built around a single, siloed channel. Instead, marketers must adopt a strategic, holistic approach that ties together every part of the customer journey—from acquisition to activation to retention. With a holistic customer engagement strategy, you may find that users who were acquired through TikTok don’t stick around nearly as long as users who were acquired through a different channel (think refer-a-friend campaigns, for instance).

To effectively grow your business, marketers must understand not just Gen Z users, but the factors that motivate Gen Z users at a deeper level, then use this information to communicate with them effectively via the channels they prefer.


Erin Bankaitis

Erin advises enterprise clients and prospects on growth strategies, business case development and offers financial services industry expertise through her prior experiences. She started her career at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., where she was responsible for identifying and vetting partnership opportunities for firmwide strategic initiatives and supporting the CIO on technology strategy communications to the investor community.

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