Leader nel campo della localizzazione

Localization Leaders: Meet Renato Beninatto

Leader nel campo della localizzazione

Localization Leaders: Meet Renato Beninatto

Meet Renato Beninatto, Chairman and Co-Founder of Nimdzi Insights, a market research and international consulting company that provides clients with the insights they need to succeed on a global scale.

Hey Renato,¬†welcome¬†to¬†BLEND’s¬†Localization¬†Leaders¬†series! We‚Äôre well acquainted with your name as Chairman and Co-Founder of¬†Nimdzi¬†Insights.¬†¬†But can you tell us a bit about your background and some of the¬†professional¬†experiences¬†you‚Äôve¬†had¬†along the way that led you here?¬†¬†

I‚Äôm originally from Brazil,¬†but¬†I¬†lived in¬†six¬†countries growing up and¬†am¬†fluent in¬†five¬†languages.¬†This is how I got exposed to languages¬†early on¬†and began my career as a translator. My education had nothing to do with¬†this field –¬†which is¬†very common¬†in this industry,¬†by the way.¬†

As my translation clientele grew, I established my own company, Lazoski, Beninatto & Associados. It became extremely successful, and I then sold it to LMI, which was later acquired by Berlitz. At the time, Berlitz was the biggest translation company in the world, and working there as an executive was extremely exciting. 

After that, I began CSA Research with Don DePalma. Further stops in my career included serving as CMO and then VP of Sales at Moravia, writing the book General Theory of the Translation Company, and most recently, founding Nimdzi Insights to help large enterprise clients grow and succeed in international markets. 

That‚Äôs¬†quite a¬†multifaceted localization background¬†you’ve accumulated!¬†¬†

This month at BLEND is all about customer centricity. Having grown your own companies’ international customer base, as well as currently serving in an advisory role to globally expanding companies, what are some of the main customer-related issues you find companies today struggle with? 

As a profession, we need to stop talking about ourselves. We need to put our empathy towards the consumer of the product that we generate. 

One of the things¬†I’ve¬†noticed appear repeatedly is¬†companies¬†getting¬†bogged down by internal processes, thereby losing¬†sight of¬†the end goal ‚Ästtheir¬†customers.¬†When you localize company content,¬†you’re¬†buying¬†happy customers¬†for your company who consume it in 100 languages. You‚Äôre¬†buying¬†marketing for¬†the customers.¬†You’re¬†buying labeling for customers. At the end of the day, the translation itself is irrelevant without the participation of the end user, right?¬†To globally grow your company, every localization buyer inside an organization needs to understand their role inside the big picture.¬†

If you use the end user as the focal point of your localization, that should inform every single activity you take in the journey. You need to keep in mind: Who is going to read it? Why? What are they going to do with the information that they get? That is the core.  As a profession, we need to stop talking about ourselves. We need to put our empathy towards the consumer of the product that we generate. 

Can you give an example of how you can apply this customer-centric thought process to localization department processes? 

Sure. At Nimdzi, we’re currently helping a large tech company that created tons of localization quality control processes that they are now stumbling over. The company has so many processes and procedures that they forgot what the end client actually needs, and are spending way too much money enforcing these processes for the sake of their own metrics.  

But that’s not what the end client cares about.  

I‚Äôm sure you have heard of social conformity. We begin doing things without even realizing why we‚Äôre doing¬†them.¬†It¬†is crucial to constantly review processes and ask WHY?¬†There is no right way to do things.¬†Localization¬†managers¬†need to constantly align¬†process and structure with¬†their¬†end goal ‚Äď the customer‚Äôs needs.¬†

Globally expanding companies¬†need to understand how¬†the end client uses their product.¬†I’ve¬†advised¬†this¬†particular client¬†towards doing¬†useability studies in¬†their¬†country to see if¬†the levels of localization perfection they‚Äôre exacting¬†actually make¬†a¬†difference.¬†We do a lot of audits for our clients as part of this optimization process.¬†

There is no right way to do things.¬†Localization¬†managers¬†need to constantly align¬†process and structure with¬†their¬†end goal ‚Äď the customer‚Äôs needs.¬†

Localization managers¬†at large companies¬†generally cater¬†to¬†end users in many¬†differing¬†markets, working with¬†a¬†number of¬†LSPs¬†at a time. Custom-tailoring each process¬†isn’t¬†always so¬†practical. How do you recommend keeping each end customer‚Äôs needs in mind, while still scaling operational procedures?¬†

The way to best produce customer-friendly¬†localized¬†materials¬†is¬†to involve the¬†localization service providers¬†you’re¬†working with in¬†understanding¬†your organization‚Äôs corporate goals.¬†Make sure to discuss with your LSP purpose usability, initial audience,¬†and final audience. The LSP can then understand why you want that translated and deliver¬†according¬†to your expectations¬†and purpose.¬†

The more successful localization managers are in explaining (to the LSP) their end goals for their customers, the less stressful their job is going to be. The best way to expand your capabilities and ability to deliver is to partner with qualified vendors that understand and align with your end goal. 

The way to best produce customer-friendly¬†localized¬†materials¬†is¬†to involve the¬†localization service providers¬†you’re¬†working with in¬†understanding¬†your organization‚Äôs corporate goals.¬†

Having worked with and lectured about the differences between US and European consumers, can you speak a bit to that topic? What do global companies need to keep at the top of their minds when catering to the two differing audiences? 

The¬†big difference¬†between America and Europe, and I have a presentation about this, “Selling in America”,¬†is that Americans are open to talking to¬†salespeople¬†and Europeans are not. In¬†Europe,¬†salespeople¬†don‚Äôt¬†call themselves such. They are¬†Commercial¬†Directors. They hide behind other titles because¬†it’s¬†shameful to be a salesperson. If we put this in¬†a¬†localization context, it plays¬†a large role¬†in why the US is the largest localization market and not Europe¬†– despite Americans¬†largely¬†speaking one¬†language.¬†¬†

Also, because Europeans are so exposed to different languages and¬†different cultures, they tend to be okay with fewer languages¬†on their websites, but it‚Äôs not¬†so in the US. Contrary to what you might think, US companies invest far more money in localizing their content to cater to their¬†customers’¬†needs.¬†

If you look at the ranking of the¬†top 25¬†most¬†translated websites¬†in the world, I think that¬†only five or six are European. As¬†such, European companies don’t¬†do as well. Europeans should understand language much better, and¬†should be more prone to adopting localization, but in that¬†regard,¬†American¬†companies take the leading role.¬†

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