TikTok continues to seek opportunities to expand on its business potential, this time through a new, global partnership with Publicis Groupe, which will give Publicis clients first-up access to TikTok's evolving commerce tools, while also providing TikTok with more insights on how to help brands maximize its platform.
As explained by TikTok:
"As TikTok's founding commerce agency partner, brands will benefit from unique learning opportunities, insights, and strategic counsel centered around driving product discovery and purchase intent on the platform. Publicis clients will also test TikTok's new commerce products, capabilities and creative solutions."
Operating in over 100 markets, brand communications giant Publicis Groupe will provide significant exposure for TikTok's evolving business tools, with Publicis also now able to offer its clients a place in a new "Community Commerce Sprint" program as part of the arrangement:
"[Community Commerce Sprint is] a bespoke incubator program that will prepare brands to create impactful commerce campaigns for TikTok ahead of the holidays. Through this multi-week program, participants will receive access to cross-functional support and coaching on Community Commerce best practices from dedicated TikTok teams."
Given TikTok's ongoing growth, and rising influence, many brands will be looking to explore such opportunities, and Publicis will now be able to offer direct access to TikTok's internal experts to assist in campaign creation and development.
In addition to this, Publicis will also provide TikTok with new insights into consumer behavior via these campaigns, which will help feed into TikTok's analytics offerings.
The deal is similar to the one TikTok announced with WPP back in February, though this new arrangement is more specifically aligned with TikTok's commerce tools, including in-stream product listings, live-stream shopping and other direct connection options.
TikTok's keen to develop this element as a key pillar of its monetization strategy - because at the end of the day, monetizing short-form video is hard. You can't add mid or pre-roll ads into 30-second clips, as you can with longer-form video, and without direct monetization, that limits TikTok's capacity to provide comparable compensation to online video alternatives, which, eventually, could see more creators shun the platform in search of greener pastures.
But if TikTok can facilitate direct shopping within clips, that will give it a more specific pathway to broader monetization. It now has the audience, and the influence, it just needs to refine its commerce tools in order to build a more sustainable, profitable commerce ecosystem, tied back to its top stars.
Establishing this new partnership is another key step on this front, and it will likely also help to accelerate the development of TikTok's commerce offerings and options, with a view to the next stage of development.
If you're considering your options for the upcoming holiday season, it may be worth keeping an eye on how this plays out - while if you're a Publicis client, new opportunities will soon be coming your way.