New research has revealed that UK advertisers spent over £800m on various Internet marketing activities last year.

The huge investment was responsible for the generation of over £9bn in sales.

The Online Performance Marketing Industry study was the first of its kind in the UK, and was conducted by PwC on behalf of the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB).

The money spent by firms was predominantly invested into activities including affiliate marketing and lead generation.

Online performance marketing is a type of Internet marketing which means advertisers only have to pay when a consumer completes a certain designated action: for affiliate marketing,l this could simply be making a purchase, whereas for lead generation it could be a customer entering their personal contact details to a site after following an advertisement.

The research figures revealed that in 2012, UK consumers conducted more than 100 million direct transactions as a result of affiliate marketing – valued at £8bn.

A further 70 million enquiries were submitted, which then resulted in one billion pounds worth of lead generated sales.

PwC senior manager, Anna Bartz, said: “Economically challenging times have seen marketing budgets squeezed and greater evidence required of return on investment.

“As a result, we expect that the attractiveness of paying for advertising based on an extremely measurable and specific consumer action will see more advertisers using Online Performance Marketing as a key channel for driving sales.”

The finance sector was the biggest spender in regards to OPM, accounting for almost half (45%) of OPM expenditure.

The nearest industry to the finance sector was the retail industry, which accounted for a fifth (20%) of the total OPM expenditure.

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About the author:

Martin Boonham is an online copywriter for ClickThrough Marketing, he has worked there since October 2012. He has a Masters in Print Journalism from Nottingham Trent University, where he also gained his NCTJ qualification at the same time; achieving qualifications in subbing, shorthand and media law.