The Speed of Culture Podcast: Building a Health System With Purpose and Empathy

The personal experience is powerful, says Walgreens CMO Linh Peters

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In the latest episode of The Speed of Culture podcast, Linh Peters, chief marketing officer at Walgreens, joins Suzy founder and CEO Matt Britton to discuss how she uses her personal experience to inform her leadership style and drive forward a mission to provide health care access, support and guidance to people in underserved communities.

Health care is personal, so it requires special marketing strategies. As an immigrant and refugee, Peters uses her own story to lead with authenticity and empathy. From bringing localized health care to underserved communities to leveraging a powerful loyalty program, Peters taps into the connection between data, technology and the customer experience to create meaningful messaging.

As CMO at Walgreens, she is responsible for the vision, strategic direction and performance of all marketing activities. Before Walgreens, she successfully redefined marketing for world-class brands such as Starbucks, Ulta Beauty, Target and Calvin Klein.

Stream the new episode below, listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or find it on Spotify.

Key highlights:

  • 03:39 – 05:56 – A Personal Mission — As a refugee, Peters grew up in a supportive community who helped her family with housing, school, and navigating public services. Thanks to her personal story, Peters resonated with Walgreens’ mission to be the leading provider of localized health care and well-being. When the opportunity came up at Walgreens, Linh accepted the CMO job in order to help support, and guide people in underserved communities.
  • 05:56 – 08:08 – Walgreens Health Corners — Walgreens maintains a presence in every community, one of its key brand differentiators. The company has nearly 9,000 stores, and its pharmacists and store team members live and work in those communities. The company also opened Walgreens Health Corners to ease access to health care for people.
  • 17:18 – 22:20 – Humble Beginnings — Peters was born in Vietnam, where she lived with her family until they immigrated to the U.S. in the ’80s. They left the country on a cargo ship that made its way to Hong Kong Harbor, where they sat for about five months, living on the boat until they were allowed on land. From there a Lutheran church from Minnesota helped them to get to the U.S. This experience shaped Peters as a person and business leader.
  • 22:20 – 24:32 – Linh’s Advice on Leadership — For Peters, being a good leader is about empathy, community and building relationships rooted in trust. She also believes in maximizing your voice, working strategically and always assuming positive intent.