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easyJet’s Marketing Makeover Inspires High-Flying Engagement

Posted on the 20 November 2014 by Marketingtango @marketingtango
  • November 20, 2014
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easyJet’s Marketing Makeover Inspires High-Flying Engagement

When was the last time an airline inspired you?

Not often enough, and Peter Duffy set out to change that when he took over as the marketing director of European-based easyJet three years ago. The airline, known for cheap flights, now also is known as a brand with power and personality.

As NewsCred profiled, Duffy has made a series of bold changes that are counterintuitive to the way most integrated marketers think, yet the changes are paying off. Earlier this year, easyJet won five prizes at the Marketing Society’s annual Awards for Excellence. Duffy picked up the Marketing Leader of the Year accolade and the brand was awarded the prestigious Grand Prix, the highest honor of all.

The results are more than ceremonial. In 2013, the company recorded a 51 percent increase in annual profits, thanks to overall improvements and smarter marketing strategies, according to NewsCred writer Anastasia Dyakovskaya. Duffy kick-started that bump in profitability by cutting “15 percent from the marketing budget and getting rid of any needless costs, using money saved to boost sales instead,” Dyakovskaya wrote.

Although most marketers would find such budget-slashing heretical, Duffy told NewsCred that he can make better, less costly marketing investments by mining data from the 400 million visits gets per year.

Here are some of the outcomes of Duffy’s rebranding efforts:


Duffy created the “Europe by easyJet” campaign in 2011, the first brand reposition since 1995, to infuse the brand “with a pop disposition while attempting to engage a cross-cultural audience throughout Europe,” Dyakovskaya explained. A TV ad initiated the campaign, which you can watch here, featured euro-pop music and a video montage of travelers that easyJet wanted to target. The follow-up TV ad issued last year, and viewable here, called “Generation easyJet,” messaged that easyJet is an airline for everyone. The airline attributed the campaign with its 6.3% increase in revenues over the preceding six months.

Email Marketing

Duffy confessed to AdAge last year that easyJet used a one-size-fits-all approach to email marketing before he joined: “Can you believe we used to send out the same email to every customer in Europe once a week on a Friday?”

Not anymore. The airline has since started using data to send segmented email campaigns. In her NewsCred piece, Dyakovskaya shared one example: “easyJet devised an email campaign that targeted travelers who had journeyed around the same time the previous year, offering similar tickets with even lower fares than before. easyJet’s emails are well designed and laid-out, offering clear information and lots of enticing trip ideas – not to mention very quick and easy directions to book.”

Such attention to detail is getting noticed. The Direct Marketing Association  awarded easyJet with its Gold Best Use of Email title in 2013, as a result of the campaign’s doubled customer engagement and quadrupled conversion.


Don’t know where you want to go? That’s okay, if you’re an easyJet customer, you can visit the site and be inspired. The Inspire Me tool was introduced in 2012 when Duffy realized that many online visitors didn’t have a specific destination in mind when visiting the site. Inspire Me lets users enter their starting point, budget, travel time and interests (beach, culture, romance or other factors) to explore various flight and destination options.

Social Media

As Duffy made the tough decision to cut his marketing budget, some tactics had to be thinned out. Unfortunately, easyJet’s social media’s strategy is lacking. The brand is most active on Facebook and Twitter and runs contests to help pump up visibility and engagement. However, these sites are not updated as frequently as you’d expect and the other marketing tactics, such as TV ads and email campaigns, are not adapted for social.

Integrated marketers can learn a lot from Duffy, including how to create a high-flying website by mining data better. Start off with our article, “Using Data to Build a Better Website User Experience,” as a guide.

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