The three new offices bring the company’s global presence up to 10 markets, and are touted as proof of Plista’s commitment to bring data-driven native advertising the region. Plista recently became part of the Xaxis Media Group portfolio.
Xaxis APAC CEO, Michel De Rijk said that following Australia’s “very positive launch and growth” from a year ago, Plista is now ready to expand its APAC coverage to serve more clients.
“With client demand for effective data-driven native strategies growing globally, the timing is perfect for us to enter the Chinese and Malaysian markets where we see a great opportunity for growth,” he added.
Speaking to Campagian Asia-Pacific, De Rijk declined to share details of the monetary investment the agency is making into Plista’s regional expansion.
“But what I can share is that across Xaxis Media Group, we have spent north of US$50 million in 2016 to continue the development of our proprietary technology, and that definitely is also for the benefit of Plista,” he said.
For China specifically, De Rijk said that the company has set up additional technology to facilitate setup.
“Both markets definitely have dedicated teams to build out the successful Plista brand, and we’re looking to continue growing our headcount in anticipation for future growth and launch of phase two markets,” he added.
Asked about the takeup rate for Plista’s offerings, De Rijk said only a handful of clients in Asia have been served, as the business had only just been launched and conversations with clients only just begun.
“The response has been very positive so far and we’re looking to replicate the same kind of success that Plista already has in the majority of the markets where it has launched,” he added. “For Plista in APAC, we expect to grow our client base at the same speed as we have done with Xaxis APAC, and the results we have so far are very promising.”
In the last 12 months Plista Australia has inked deals with Yahoo7, Fairfax, News Corp and NineMSN, as well as sites including Mamamia, The Daily Mail, Foxsports, SkyNews, Carsguide and Carsadvice, according to the company. Some of the partnerships are on an exclusive basis.
“Since launching last year the business has surpassed all expectations for what it would be able to do in year one," said Brett Poole, Australia GM. "We've come off a zero base and we've capped off a huge year of growth."
Asked what challenges will have to be faced in order to meet growth ambitions, De Rijk said that education will be key, as native is still fairly new in most Asian markets. He added that the approach is comparable with what the team undertook during Xaxis’ launch four years ago when programmatic advertising was still new.
“I’m convinced that we are able to make at least the same impact on the development of native as we did with Xaxis on programmatic,” he said. “Our recommendation and in-feed products are high impact and have great results. With the strong insights and analytics we are able to offer as Xaxis Media Group, these will be prominent drivers in the world of native advertising and in the way plista stands out from it’s competitors.”
De Rijk said the company has the team, structure and product to drive this quickly and more successfully than any other company entering the Asia Pacific region, but remain grounded in knowing that it will take time.
“As education is key, time is our biggest challenge because changing or creating an industry doesn’t happen overnight,” he added. “The search for the right talent will definitely be key.”