What I learned from episode #01 of the alignment

What I learned from episode #01 of the alignment

I was lucky enough to host our first episode of the alignment webinar, which included four localization leaders and their experiences in driving localization leadership in their businesses.

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They included:

  • Ronald Cummings-John, CEO of Global App Testing
  • Talia Baruch, Head of the Globalsake community and previous Head of Localization at LinkedIn, Surveymonkey
  • Katell Jentreau, an independent consultant and previous Head of Localization at Box, Globalization Manager at Netflix
  • Tomas Franc, Solutions Architect at Lokalise

And we talked about driving your service into strategy: how you can deliver localization leadership to your business and evolve your maturity stage. It was an amazing webinar. But here are my 6 top takeaways from the discussion:

1.  In most businesses, localization is still a “tail end language-support effort”. It doesn’t have to be

56% of respondents in the webinar poll identified that their business was in a “delivery” mindset within localization rather than a “strategy” or an “investment narrative”. Katell commented that that was in-line with her expectations; and Talia argued that shifting localization to an up-front lever for global growth had been a major part of her role in previous organization. 

2.  To escape the delivery narrative, talk to leaders in their own language

One tip from multiple interviewees is to begin talking to senior management in the language appropriate to them. You might live in a world of LSPs, translations and product strings; they’re likely to live in a world of CAC, MAUs and signups. Given that localization really can drive global growth, this is a great opportunity to align the way that you’re speaking with the way they’re thinking, and start to develop test-led localization recommendations as a lever of growth. 

3.  Internal evangelism is the hardest part of the job

“Internal evangelism is one of the hardest parts of the job” argued Talia. One practice she began to undertake to improve the status of localization was to evangelise about it using a task force. Identifying and setting up cross-departmental meetings to identify and advocate for customer strategy. 

4.  It's possible to use local testing to drive product strategy

Ronald told the story of two global app tests and the way that they had driven product development. One: the unearthing of a series of checkout issues in France on Android devices and mastercard – a small segment of overall users but one which nonetheless cost an ecommerce client of Global App Testing millions of dollars per month. The second, an onboarding form which required last names in a country where 40% of people had one. Both of these cut through the politics and noise which can hinder local-first product development with their powerful ROI and strategic conclusions. 

5.  AI might just change everything 

There may be a lot of content very soon; which means more to translate, and maybe more to go wrong. This content marketer uses AI from time to time. But as the content arms race continues, content distribution will also change. Will SEO and search be the same as before? What about the role of community and trust in disseminating real expertise? All of these throw up substantial questions for content marketers – and watch out for unstructured data such as voice and video content entering the overton window of rapid international content adaptation, too. 

6.  The way you count people, it counts

“How you slice and dice the data gives you a very different understanding of your gaps” pointed out Talia. One tried-and-tested method for unearthing new actionable insights on local users is to reexamine the issues through another lens. Simpsons paradox, which has been applied to statistical problems such as the calculation of a number of high-profile racial disparities 

Watch the webinar

Curious? We've got the whole ungated webinar below; and you can watch it.