Nick Tran, Head of International Advertising of TikTok – Advertising on the Velocity of Tradition

For the first episode of 2021, I couldn’t be more excited to welcome the master of “marketing at the speed of culture”, Nick Tran, Head of Global Marketing for TikTok. But don’t take my word for it. Have a listen or ask anyone in the marketing community, they will vouch for Nick’s consistent ability to listen and then tap into some of the most viral moments of the day.

In Nick’s latest role, leading consumer marketing for TikTok globally, he’s already seen some pretty memorable moments. Who can forget Nathan Apodaca, the longboarder sipping Ocean Spray while lip-synching Fleetwood Mac to partnerships with Airbnb, Postmates and so many more. According to Nick, it’s those unexpected moments where people not only use TikTok, but learn on TikTok, that is behind their ongoing campaign “It starts on TikTok”.

No stranger to the intersection of marketing and culture, Nick has had an interesting career path that only recently started in marketing. Prior to his initial marketing internship at Taco Bell, Nick was on the IT side of things until one day he realized he needed to make a shift. Once that shift was made, Nick has catapulted his career and now looking to give back.

Having started at TikTok in the midst of a global pandemic, Nick was delighted to learn early on that TikTok is also about giving back. “[In my first month, the question wasn’t] ‘How do we continue to increase our daily active users? Or how do we drive growth?’ The question that the CEO asked the leadership team was how do we help as many people as possible. Part of that was, financially, we created a COVID relief fund. It was about $250 million globally, plus an extra $125 million for startups or smaller companies to come back online with ad credits. So collectively there’s like $375 million. And the question that was asked every day in a standup meeting was how come we’re not deploying more money and more resources to more folks that are in need. Faster.”

When Nick isn’t giving back through TikTok, he’s on a mission to ensure he’s always thanking those who helped him along the way and also teaching folks who are just coming into the marketing field. And don’t miss the fun stories of the famous green slippers and why he’s known as the ‘Sock Guy’. He’s got tricks, always, up his sleeves, or should I say, in his socks?

This episode is also available on Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Apple Podcasts.

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