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UK Online Performance Marketing Spend Hits £1.578 Billion in 2016

UK Online Performance Marketing Spend Hits £1.578 Billion in 2016


The IAB & PwC's Online Performance Marketing study reveals the ongoing, rapid success of affiliate marketing and lead generation activity in the UK.

Online performance marketing spend reached £1.578 billion in the UK last year, according to the IAB and PwC’s Online Performance Marketing (OPM) study, released alongside their wider digital ad spend findings today (April 12).

The researchers class OPM as affiliate marketing, which constitutes 88%, and lead generation activity, which makes up 12%. Overall, the practices combined saw like-for-like growth of 12% throughout 2016, or a £170 million lift in year-on-year spend.

Generating £12.30 for every £1 spent, OPM activity has generated £19.4 billion in sales throughout 2016 - a 16% hike on 2015 - driven by 5.6 billion clicks throughout the period, or "176 a second".

"Affiliate is rapidly proving itself to be the most effective type of marketing and the attraction is clear,” commented Skimlinks’ CEO and co-founder, Alicia Navarro.

“It outflanks ad blockers, is highly engaging content that draws users to a site, is only paid on a sale, and publishers will write authentic editorial content in advance of earnings, essentially making it 'earned media'."

As seen in the graph below, the finance sector is behind nearly a third (32%) of this spend, while travel & leisure follows with 17%, and the retail and gaming verticals each take a 14% share.

With the Digital Ad Spend study revealing mobile investment shot up 50% on 2015's figures, unsurprisingly, OPM spend has been particularly pronounced on mobile, which alone saw a 23% like-for-like growth in spend from 2015.

Meanwhile, in the wider view of digital marketing, the IAB and PwC estimate that OPM makes up 8-10% of UK online ad spend, 8% of UK retail e-commerce and 1% of the UK’s entire GDP.

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Mark  Jones

Mark Jones

Mark manages all aspects of editorial on PerformanceIN as the company's Head of Content, including reporting on the fast-paced world of digital marketing and curating the site’s network of expert industry contributions.

Going by the ethos that there is no 'jack-of-all-trades' in performance marketing, only experts within their field, Mark’s day-to-day aim is to provide an engaging platform for members to learn and question one another, helping to push the industry forward as a result.

Originally from Plymouth, Mark studied in Reading and London, eventually earning his Master's in Digital Journalism- before making his return to the West Country to join the PI team in Bristol.

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