Clarke has relocated to Hong Kong from Abu Dhabi, where he was the company's head of research for South Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Edelman Berland, established in September 2012, offers a suite of services including analytics, media monitoring, measurement and online communities.
Two people are working in Hong Kong now, and another four will be starting in Shanghai and Beijing in "the very near future", Clarke told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "Beyond Greater China, the next stops are Singapore and Australia." Clarke declined to put a figure on the eventual workforce, saying only that the plans are ambitious. The unit is already working with one multinational client and one local client out of the Hong Kong office, he added.
Clarke said the unit's offering is distinct from other research companies. "We are more focused on communications and how research can inform superior engagements with an organisations' stakeholders, be they customers or other stakeholders," he said.
Edelman Berland's outputs also differ from the competition, he continued. "We don't talk like other researchers. We don't deliver dry, powerpoint charts or stack after stack of stuff. We deliver quite specific recommendations that are about improving relationships and making better communications. Always tied back to what the client's business objective was."
David Brain, president and CEO of Edelman Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, called the addition of Edelman Berland in Greater China "a significant upgrade in our ability to provide real-time analytics, benchmarking and insights".