Meet Peggy Dyer, CMO, American Red Cross

Like the American Red Cross, Peggy Dyer knows how to support those in need—especially within her organization. The CMO led the creation of the nonprofit’s new public-facing website,, which included the consolidation of 500 chapter websites into the main site. She oversaw the integration of American Red Cross’s 500 databases into one donor database. And Dyer headed the nonprofit’s Storytellers campaign, which comprised distributing journals and cameras to select users of Red Cross services, allowing them to submit their own Red Cross stories. The stories were turned into TV and print PSAs, and the campaign doubled the goal for donated media value.

Before working at the American Red Cross, Dyer served in marketing leadership positions for such well-known brands as Gatorade, Citibank, and Allstate.

Marketing strategy: Regardless of industry or company, marketing is a catalyst for demand-driven growth. By focusing on the external needs of customers, prospects, or constituents, marketing uniquely brings both discipline and innovation to help drive growth.

Winning ways: The marketing team at American Red Cross is an amazing team. Not only are they exceptional marketers and great leaders, [but] they’re committed and passionate about making the world a better place through the humanitarian mission of the American Red Cross. One new partner met with a representative group from our marketing team recently and commented in a follow-up email, “[We] were struck by the energy, intelligence, and wit in the room. They’re not just smart. They’re fun, too. Great combination.”

Defining moment: As newly promoted VP [of] marketing for Gatorade many, many years ago, I saw the brand face its first national competition from two beverage powerhouses: Coca-Cola’s Powerade and Pepsi’s All Sport. The team felt that significant sales and share loss were inevitable. However, we created and implemented an aggressive, innovative, and offensive marketing plan that expanded the category and grew sales volume for the brand. The rest is history.

Trend watching: Mobile first. The business model for Red Cross is a mobile one. We go to people in need, they don’t come to us. So, mobile first is imperative. 

Words to live by: There’s a paperweight on my desk that was a gift from my team at Allstate. It’s a quote from Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never quit.”  

Good read: The bookshelf in my office is lined with great business books, so picking just one would be impossible. Right now I’m reading Harvard Business Review’s 10 Must Reads on Teams. It’s a compilation of the best HBR articles on this subject. The articles are filled with advice and inspiration on how to build strong, enduring teams where the sum is greater than the individual parts.

Good advice: Work hard and have a passion for what you do.

Meet the rest of the 2014 Marketing Hall of Femme honorees and read their inspirational stories.

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