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Marketing Leader of the Year 2014 – Peter Duffy

We’re delighted to reveal that Peter Duffy, group commercial director of easyJet is The Marketing Society’s Marketing Leader of the Year 2014.

Müller Dairy’s Michael Inpong, Lloyds Banking Group’s Catherine Kehoe, and BT’s David James were the three other finalists

The quartet drew the most votes from a public vote and the winner was presented with the award at The Marketing Society’s Awards for Excellence on 5 June at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

It’s only three years since Peter Duffy took up the marketing reins at easyJet. Nonetheless, in that short space of time he’s transformed the erstwhile no-frills airline’s offering into one that includes mobile boarding cards, allocated seating and an overhauled digital presence. When Duffy joined the airline, he felt that the brand was not realising its opportunity on as many levels as it could. He wanted customers to choose easyJet because it was a smart choice, rather than a choice based on price, and believed that the brand needed a marketing strategy that resonated across Europe. With marketing fragmented across the business, Duffy was instrumental in bringing it all under one roof, including marketing communications, digital, CRM, contact centres and ancillary services.

He also put in place a big drive for efficiency, taking 15% off the marketing budget. “As we looked to focus investment on things that added more value, we were ruthless about anything that didn’t, such as some digital media spend,” said Duffy, in an interview published in Marketing magazine in 2013. “If it isn’t good for the customer and isn’t driving a commercial return, what is the point of that activity?” The airline moved to one media agency across Europe, OMD UK, and now measures everything in a standardised way.

EasyJet’s soaring financial results are testament to Duffy’s hard work in the marketing department: annual profits were up 51% last November and the carrier now serves more than 11 million business passengers a year. This, underpinned by the launch of the “Generation easyJet” campaign, which shifted focus away from just the destination to the mindset and attitudes of its customers, marks an impressive year for both Duffy and the business.


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