Sam Flemming

Co-founder and CEO of Kantar Media CIC

Travels from Shanghai

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CIC is the first and leading Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) Research and Consulting firm in China. Sam has been a participant of China’s digital evolution for over 20 years, first with, the original online payment platform in China, and now with CIC. CIC is at the forefront of exploring Chinese digital culture, helping leading brands in China such as Pepsi and Nike understand how the Internet Word of Mouth is impacting and can be used to impact marketing communications, product research and development, reputation monitoring and public relations.

Sam has been interviewed and quoted extensively on topics related to Chinese digital culture, social media and the Internet by media sources worldwide including Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg TV, CBS Market Watch, and NPR. He is also a frequent speaker at well-renowned branding and marketing conferences throughout the world, such as 2008 Ernst & Young Global Symposium, Edelman PR Annual Global Leadership Meeting, China New Media Event in Amsterdam and the upcoming Youth Marketing Forum Asia 2008 in Singapore. Sam is highly respected by China’s Internet industry experts (see below) and is considered the leading pioneer of IWOM in China with his “China IWOM Blog” being seen a “must read” source for timely information on IWOM, PR and Internet marketing in China. See here for more on Sam’s media and here for speaking.

Under Sam’s leadership, CIC has built a highly qualified team of analysts who utilize proprietary Chinese language text mining technology to provide a prestigious list of Fortune 500 clients with customized reports and insights based on systematic analysis of tens of millions of BBS and blog posts written Chinese netizens.

Sam holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA and a BA in Sociology and Religion from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.

He is a native speaker of English, speaks Mandarin Chinese, and has lived in Shanghai for 10 years.

In our speakers’ corner and weblog:
Strategic online communication, the Johnson Baby case
Astroturfing no issue in China
Explaining 253 million internet users to the outside world
Internet users less tolerant for online manipulation


I do admire Sam as a visionary and Chinese internet pioneer. CIC almost single handedly popularized Social Media marketing and measurement (they call it Internet Word of Mouth or IWOM) in China, a market that has not even started to measure online activity on company websites effectively.

Florian Pihs,

Data and Web Analytics Director, MRM Worldwide Beijing

CIC Data, founded by Sam Flemming, is a pioneer in quantitative digital word-of-mouth analysis.

Tom Doctoroff,

CEO, Greater China of J. Walter Thompson (JWT)

Sam is passionate and professional about the company that he founded, CIC Data–a company which has gotten where it is mainly through his unflagging dedication and the quality of the product. He preaches the importance of Internet Word of Mouth, or IWOM, while his own WOM reputation within the industry is and has remained sterling.

Kaiser Kuo,

Group Director, Digital Strategy, Ogilvy & Mather China

Sam Flemming’s CIC data is the only partner to go to when you want to track blogs, message boards, and BBS posts in China.

David Wolf,

China PR and New Media Communications Consultant

Sam Flemming talking in Amsterdam, June 2008

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