Talking Digital: Expert Chat with DSM's Digital Leader Patrick Attallah

We've been getting on the digital buzz here at Savage, and got the chance to catch up with one of our newest speakers - Patrick Attallah, the Global Marketing Director Digital at DSM, to talk about DSM, Digital Transformation, and the digital marketing vendor landscape.

Patrick is leading fight against the challenges that arise with DSM's digital transformation. He's transforming their digital data, converting their digital strategies into growth, and facilitating the digital know how and capabilities of the group with his wealth of experience. But to get a role like this, made me wonder, has he always been involved with digital?

“Well…from day one! As soon as I’ve started working for Sprint back in the 90s, where we were selling email solutions to large corporates. But the real long term project where digital transformation was key, was with the ISAN International Agency, where we helped the audiovisual ecosystem move from an analog thinking to a digital one.”

At Savage, we've noticed that marketers are often leading the charge with a companies digital transformation. So we took a chance and asked Patrick, who's been handling digital for over 20 years, what his thoughts were on digital transformation. "For some it's about digitization and others technology." However, the “goal of digital transformation should be to make your business relevant in a digital era, while growing opportunities and profits, as well as scaling efficiencies in the process,” clarifies Patrick. "Digital transformation is the alignment of people, culture, technology, data and business models for a better customer experience.”

Whilst interviewing Patrick, he shared his experience with challenges marketers and leadership face when initiating digital transformation:

1.    Adapt company’s culture to the digital era (at all level of the organization)

2.    Break team silos, for an efficient customer centricity strategy

3.    Have the resources (people, technologies, expertise) and adequate budget allocation

4.    Use efficiently the available data for predictive marketing

DSM in motion: driving focused growth


"This strategy has provided DSM with a framework to drive sustainable and profitable growth in the company’s core activities. This strategy guides how DSM pursues sustainable value creation for all stakeholders on three dimensions simultaneously: People, Planet and Profit. The businesses that form DSM’s core in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences are built around finding innovative and sustainable solutions to some of the world’s main challenges, based on a clear understanding of key global societal trends and their consequences for the planet, consumers and societies," explains Patrick.

The efforts of DSM Global Marketing & Sales teams is to help DSM’s different businesses to:

ADAPT to the challenges brought by digital technologies

TRANSFORM digital data into valuable business insights

CONVERT their digital strategies and tactics into growth

FACILITATE their digital know how and capabilities building

Of course leading a company into the digital age means we need to start employing certain types of technology, but is overcrowded digital technology landscape actually meeting the needs of marketers in 2016. Patrick shares that “a common challenge we are still facing is the complexity, fragmented and overcrowded digital technology landscape – a landscape where many vendors focus on production, automation and process and pay little attention to performance-led technology and therefore to ROI.”

So the we all know the marketing tech landscape is as abundant as it is diverse. Whether it is a multinational tech giant or a startup in a garage, the market is an exhilarating space of social, mobile and affiliate solutions. It is also often times bewildering and intimidating. How do you know you selected the right solution? Is there a more efficient tool available? How do you measure ROI? Should you go for an integrated solution or opt-out for multiple vendors? Marketers have to deal with these and a million other questions. It is a lot of pressure, especially when your job requires to constantly remain on top of your competition.

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