Weekly Briefing: March 23


It’s certainly a remarkable time.

Digital Marketing is adapting in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Changing user behaviour, turbulent markets and constantly-emerging new information means that our industry is keeping pace at a rate we’ve never seen before.

From today, we’ll be releasing weekly briefings so you can stay up to date with the latest changes in marketing, and within Fountain, too. We hope you find them interesting – but, most of all, helpful.


1. We are currently witnessing some of the cheapest cost-per-clicks (CPC) in history – why?

Last week saw Amazon cut its paid search spend with Google to almost nothing – resulting in hundreds of millions in lost revenue for Google.?

For a company that is already struggling to meet exceptionally high demand this was a logical move by Amazon. It will very likely mean CPCs for any products previously bid on by Amazon will reduce.

For clients selling products that compete with Amazon, your teams are working on how best to exploit this.


2. Facebook CPCs and CPMs lowest they’ve been in 6 years

With millions of companies reducing or pausing their media spend this week we saw CPCs and CPMs on Facebook plummet as much as 57% for some of our accounts towards the end of the week. This resulted in significantly lower cost-per-leads for some clients.?


3.?SOV & SOM

These reductions in costs on both Google and Amazon reflect some of the research that we shared last week on ‘marketing in a downturn’ that we shared last week.
If you are able, there has never been a better time to take market share and own share of voice.

“It is better to maintain SOV (share of voice) at or above SOM (share of market) during a downturn: the longer-term improvement in profitability is likely to greatly outweigh the short-term reduction”?Peter Field, The Marketing Society


4.? Fountain’s Own Research

Recognising that all research done by external organisations (such as a McKinsey study in February 2020) is so swiftly out of date, we are undertaking our own market research into the reaction in different sectors to these unprecedented times.

We are surveying agencies to find out how the online spending patterns are changing – the survey has been circulated to over a thousand UK agencies, as well as some in Canada and the US. We may all predict the sectors in which spend has decreased – as the results drift in, we’re seeing interesting results for sectors increasing spend.

We’ll be collating results later in the week, but we’ll share any interesting insights as soon as possible.


5. What about my competitors? What are they doing?

Fountain’s Digital Marketing Task Force is testing ways to get insights on what your competitors are doing in real time, for minimal cost. The software we use tends to have historical data, so we’re discovering ways to get real-time competitor insights for you.


6.?Fountain asked to speak to thousands of Barclays Business Customers across the UK?

Barclays Eagle Labs has asked Fountain Co-Founder, Marcus Hemsley, to run a webinar this week on ‘Digital Marketing when demand drops’.? The first of 3 webinars is on Wednesday. You’re all welcome to join, however a lot of the strategies will have already been put forward by your teams.?

All of our clients are welcome to join – although please be aware the content is very top-level compared to the consultancy you can expect from your Fountain team working on your account.

Register for the webinar here


7. How we’re supporting NHS workers amidst COVID-19

Fountain is supporting a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who is creating a charity, linking vacant properties on sites like AirBnB with NHS key workers who need to a place to self-isolate or accommodation near their hospital. The aim is to also involve Deliveroo and Uber, to help feed and offer safe transport for them as they fight this pandemic.
Fountain are advising on Marketing and Communications and donating staff time to this great cause.

We’re looking for a voluntary CMO for the project – if you know anyone, let us know!


Things we’ve seen that you may find interesting:



We have built up an amazing network, if you need introductions to any type of specialist or person please ask.




23 March 2020

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