SINGAPORE: Two WPP-owned agencies have come together in an initiative aimed at developing a range of communication solutions to reach rural and low-income consumers across South East Asian markets.

Mindshare, the marketing and media network, has teamed up with OgilvyAction, the brand activation company, to carry out operations across India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.

Mindshare will be responsible for strategy, using its proprietary tools to cover groundwork and rural research, including task maps, ethnographic studies, brand health parameters and quantitative studies covering brand relationships, consumer demographics and media consumption.

Mindshare has also developed tools to capture rural TV viewership rather than the people meter widely used in urban areas.

Both companies noted the growing value that was being placed on this level of consumer.

"We know low-tier consumers are an increasingly important segment for our clients," said John Goodman, President of OgilvyAction Asia Pacific.

Describing the region as "one of the most promising growth engines", Ashutosh Srivastava, chairman, Asia Pacific and CEO for Emerging Markets at Mindshare, said the partnership offered great potential to clients.

"It is relevant to all our stakeholders who want to leverage insights on low-income consumers and deliver breakthrough media innovation and activation," he said.

Activation and planning solutions are being provided for select clients already, with fully realised rural-specific research expected to be available in the next six months across all ASEAN markets.

In a separate development in the region, WPP's PR company, Burson-Marsteller, has installed a new Asia-Pacific leadership team.

Patrick Ford, regional chairman, explained to Campaign Asia-Pacific that the aim was to get a diverse perspective and experience from the company's most effective leaders.

At the same time, he noted that the business environment was changing. "The digital revolution has applied a sense of urgency and time sensitivity for clients to engage with stakeholders, employees and customers through various digital channels," he said.

"Clients are looking for agencies that have strong passion for their brand and great ideas to lead positive business results," he added.

Data sourced from Asia Media Journal, Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff