TikTok Data Deep Dive Social Media

The data behind TikTok’s marketing revolution

By Ardalan Salam, Vice-president, data & technology

Allied Global Marketing


The Drum Network article

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May 11, 2023 | 9 min read

For The Drum’s deep dive into all things data, Ardalan Salam and Michael Maiman of Allied Global Marketing look at how data enabled TikTok’s rapid rise.

Woman holding up iPhone 6 in selfie mode

TikTok’s power lies in the post-purchase stage of the buyer journey / Good Faces

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, data is the backbone of decision-making, user experiences, and growth for businesses.

TikTok stands out as a unique case study in the realm of data-driven success. While other platforms are seeing declining time spent, TikTok is growing. One estimate suggests that US adults will spend 18.6% of their social media time on TikTok by 2024, tying with Instagram.

According to another estimate, the app will be used by 23.1% of US social commerce buyers this year, overtaking Pinterest, with 11% of all consumers now starting their shopping journey on TikTok. So, what’s driving this success?

Content at every stage of the marketing funnel

TikTok has emerged as a powerful full-funnel marketing channel, with agencies and media companies remaining optimistic about continued investment. The platform's impact is felt at every stage of the customer journey, from discovery to consideration and, finally, purchase.

44% of daily users want branded content to be fun and entertaining. This results in users being 1.5x more likely to make a purchase immediately after seeing it in their feeds. It figures: the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has over 44bn views.

TikTok's loop-shaped conversion funnel

Traditional marketing funnels no longer define the modern consumer's purchasing journey. TikTok has redefined the conversion funnel, transforming it into a loop that encourages customers to continuously engage with brands. This approach keeps users within the brand’s content and creates lasting relationships and communities.

TikTok now also acts as a discovery engine, with nearly three in five users claiming to discover new products through the platform. Users also consider the opinions of others when making purchase decisions, with 58% feeling more positive about a product after seeing it on TikTok.

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Paid media on TikTok

Heres an example: TikTok provided an excellent opportunity to promote films across the UK for one of our clients, letting us both sell tickets and engage users with an experience they could share.

The client’s primary audience was under 35, but we were able to use the platform to grow additional audiences and segments through the run of the campaign. In addition to audiences directly related to the film’s talent, behavioral targeting allowed the campaign to tap into similar genres to find new audiences, using targets like ‘comedy-creator scene’ and ‘pop culture scene’.

The platform allowed for studio-created content to be promoted alongside the amplification of influencer content, driving a 90% view rate. The film experience of those who bought and attended magnified this value, as many users would document the outing and provide organic lift.

Influencers and buyer intent

Influencer content on TikTok goes beyond just promoting products. It drives users to take further action after watching, such as visiting a store to see a product in person (54%) or making an online or in-person purchase (64%). In addition to physical products, trailers combined with influencer content can boost user intent to watch streaming content by 1.7x.

Power post-purchase: brand Interaction & advocacy

TikTok’s influence extends beyond the point of purchase. Users are 1.5x more likely to convince friends or family members to buy a product they saw on the app. They are also 2.4x more likely to create a post and tag a brand after purchasing.

Compared with other platforms, TikTok users are 55% more likely to follow, comment, or directly message a brand after their purchase.

The future of TikTok

Although the threat of a government ban is still up in the air, brands continue to prioritize creating engaging and unique content on TikTok. The platform has shifted the role of social media managers from merely adhering to approved scripts to creating their own brand voice that resonates with users, generating billions of views.

TikTok’s innovative approach to marketing has redefined the customer journey and conversion funnel, making it an essential platform for brands seeking to build strong, enduring relationships with their consumers. As the platform continues to evolve, marketers can use the data-rich insights it yields to find new opportunities to connect with their audience and drive growth.

For more on the modern data dynamic, check out our deep dive hub.

TikTok Data Deep Dive Social Media

Content by The Drum Network member:

Allied Global Marketing

In business for over 30 years, Allied has built upon its roots in advertising and publicity for movie studios to become a global leader in entertainment, culture,...

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