Kantar Media, part of WPP’s consumer insight unit, has acquired social media intelligence firm CIC, to meet growing demand and expand its social offering in China.
China is reportedly the world’s second largest ad market with approximately 350 million Internet users on social media and more than 50,000 companies that own a microblog account in the country.
CIC, founded by Sam Flemming in 2004, has presence in Shanghai and Beijing including a team of 60 social media consultants.
In a phone interview, Flemming said China is a unique and fragmented social landscape that has its own versions of social media.
A challenge for brand marketers is to develop a communication strategy that outlines where their brands want to be and what they want to say on the social platforms. More data will allow brands to be systematic in their media planning, he explained.
His firm collects data in the form of billions of consumer brand mentions that provides insights for companies to identify which social platform is relevant as well as understand what consumers are talking around their brands.
The acquisition will enable his agency to develop new offering by combining its data with Kantar Media’s resources across 60 markets.
Nike, Dell, and Intel are among some examples of its roster of blue chip clients in China.
CIC will continue to be based in Shanghai and Beijing and its management team will report to Jean-Michel Portier, global CEO of Kantar Media.
“CIC will enrich our global digital expertise in capturing millions of online conversations and ‘making sense of the buzz’ in order to provide interpretation that informs strategic decisions and leads to action,” Portier said in a press statement.
Flemming declined to comment on the deal’s value; he said the acquisition will take effect in the next few months.