IAB reports 2012 boom in affiliate marketing spend

Affiliate marketing is undergoing a 'boom' in the UK according to new figures, with a total investment of more than £800m last year delivering £9bn in sales.

Quidco: part of the affiliate marketing 'boom'
Quidco: part of the affiliate marketing 'boom'

Research carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) reveals that advertisers spent £814m on affiliate marketing and lead generation in 2012, with an ROI of £11 for every £1 spent.

The study shows that 3500 advertisers and 10,000 publishers are engaging in online performance marketing (OPM), which the IAB described as digital marketing's 'best-kept secret'.

IAB director of research and strategy Tim Elkington said: 'Each year [OPM] drives more than two online purchases for every UK adult and causes the equivalent of every UK person to fill out a form showing interest in a product.'

Price-comparison, voucher, loyalty and cashback sites including Comparethemarket.com, Vouchercodes.co.uk, Nectar and Quidco are the best-known examples of OPM.

The financial sector is the biggest spender on OPM, with a 45% share of the market last year, compared with retailers' 20% share; telecoms and media companies account for 10% of the market.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).