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Boost ROI by 75%: Learn how to balance Efficiency, Tech, & Human Expertise With Matteo Nonne

Boost ROI by 75%: Learn how to balance Efficiency, Tech, & Human Expertise With Matteo Nonne

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Our Guest
Matteo Nonne
Matteo Nonne
Localization Program Manager, ON
Our Host
host image
Alpi Mantry
Chief Human, Translate By Humans

Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to dive into our seventh thrilling tale! We are absolutely ecstatic to introduce our special guest today – none other than Matteo Nonne, the maestro of localisation and the wizard behind the scenes as the Localisation Program Manager at the sports goods powerhouse, On!

Join us as our CEO, Alpi, gets into conversation with Matteo, hailing from the vibrant heart of London as he dazzles us with his wealth of experience in the ever-evolving world of localisation. Buckle up, folks, because this promises to be an exhilarating ride! Welcome to the show, Matteo!l

Key Takeaways:

Key Insights:

So rather than me talking about your experience and journey, why don't you tell us? Where did you start in the localisation industry, and how far have you come?

Certainly! My journey in the localisation industry began with a background in languages and translation. I started with an internship at a small London-based translation agency, leading to a project manager role at a more prominent language services provider. Over the years, I climbed the ladder and even built a specialised team for a new subject matter. Eventually, I transitioned to a client site, managing localisation for a growing tech giant.

After that, I honed my skills further by managing product and marketing localisation for a smaller tech company. However, I craved a new challenge. In February of this year, I joined a new company where I’m now spearheading the development of their localisation program, bringing my expertise to a full-time role.

Seeing your journey from a language enthusiast to managing a significant program for this company is fascinating. What is it about the language industry that has held your interest? Why do you have a passion for languages?

I have several reasons for my unwavering passion for the localisation field. Firstly, my love for languages remains a driving force. I relish the challenges of bridging communication gaps across diverse cultures and regions. Furthermore, witnessing the continuous evolution of this industry, much like languages themselves, keeps me engaged and motivated. It’s essential to stay abreast of the dynamic landscape.

Additionally, integrating technology trends adds another layer of intrigue to localisation. This industry encompasses a vast spectrum of elements, making it one of the most multifaceted domains, albeit not widely recognised. The sheer variety and the constant opportunity for learning truly captivate me.

Interesting. Given your experience and current role, do you strategically get involved in defining localisation strategies?

In the realm of market expansion and marketing optimisation, crafting an effective organisational strategy is a daily task. Constantly assessing performance, refining processes, and exploring new technologies are all part of the journey to ensure we’re on the best course. It’s an ongoing adventure, and I’m fully engaged in it.

What criteria do you consider when deciding which new markets to target for expansion?

First, I dive into market research, exploring product or service interest and potential perception. Next, I narrow down customer segments and market tiers. I blend data-driven analysis with anecdotal feedback, considering social media, customer comments, and website traffic. Finally, I weigh investment against potential ROI to chart our path forward.

Great. Thank you for that. So now, a while ago, you mentioned that there are changing market trends. And it's pretty rapid; it happens frequently. How do you keep up with those considering your strategy for localisation?

In today’s interconnected world, staying informed is like navigating a vast landscape. I embrace webinars, seminars, and virtual conferences to keep up, especially in the post-COVID era. My network’s social media shares are treasure troves of insights. As a passionate reader, I like to read and spiral into a rabbit hole of, you know, link after link, article after article. So I like to read and spiral into a rabbit hole of, you know, link after link, article after article. So that’s how I tried to keep up with market trends. And, of course, even non-localisation experts might have some opinions to share and may have heard something through the grapevine. It’s about casting a wide net to capture the trends, even those outside our immediate scope.

What are the key parameters or metrics that you rely on to assess a strategy's return on investment (ROI) or determine its success, and how do you decide if adjustments or changes are needed?

In localising content, setting ROI goals can be challenging since it doesn’t always directly impact sales or impressions. However, I align my goals with the organisation’s metrics and focus on enhancing copy to attract more attention.

ROI comes from efficiency, data-driven market entry, and continuous improvement.

Okay. So now, my next question would be, given that you work with LSP and now with a product company, how is this different?

Vendor management is a shared focus in client-side and LSP roles, but they offer different experiences. Client-side work allows for deep investment and quality prioritisation. At the same time, LSP roles offer variety and exposure to diverse challenges but less insight into different business aspects due to less cross-functional communication.

If you are going to start working on a particular project localisation project, how do you approach it from start to finish?
  1. Understand the Goal: Start by fully grasping the project’s objectives and type.
  2. Tailor the Strategy: Adapt your approach based on the project’s nature. For example, prioritise speed and accuracy for sensitive content like clinical trials, or focus on creativity for product launches.
  3. Engage Stakeholders: Collaborate closely with requesters and gather comprehensive background information to communicate effectively with selected vendors.
  4. Analyse Content: Examine the content format and technical requirements, whether documents, software, or other materials.
  5. Leverage Local Expertise: Consult with local experts for culturally sensitive projects to address challenges effectively.
  6. Optimise with Technology: Explore automation possibilities to improve efficiency and reduce errors, customising solutions when necessary.
  7. Execute localisation: Carry out the process, ensuring accuracy and adherence to the determined strategy.
  8. Quality Assurance: Perform rigorous QA, including language checks, reviews by market experts, and functional testing for software.
  9. Context Matters: Evaluate content in context, be it in software interfaces or visual materials like posters and social media.
  10. Debrief and Learn: After successful project completion, debrief to identify lessons learned, budget control, stakeholder satisfaction, and continuous process improvement.
  11. Vendor Collaboration: Acknowledge the importance of working seamlessly with vendors, as they are integral to project success.

It's a holistic approach that combines strategy, stakeholder engagement, technology, and a keen focus on quality and improvement.

Thank you for that one. Matteo, it was a good explanation of the entire journey. So, it's a good one to note down. So, you touched base upon two things: technology and vendors.
How do you select your vendors? Do you prefer working with freelancers? Or is hiring an LSP to work with you on the more significant projects a good idea?

It depends on the situation. I enjoy working with freelancers when I can train them to become experts in our brand and market. This builds a robust and lasting relationship with excellent communication and quality. On the other hand, some language service providers (LSPs) can be so flexible that they become an extension of our localisation team, offering valuable expertise in technology and processes. Their experience from working with various clients provides a valuable second opinion.

What strategies do you employ to ensure seamless communication among various teams spanning different functions and external vendors or freelancers?

One of my common challenges is limited communication in a large organisation, which often leads to last-minute rushes and frustrations. I approach it with empathy, understanding that people might not be familiar with localisation. I’ve organised presentations, created easy-to-follow guides, and reached out directly to colleagues with a smile, advocating for localisation. For external partners, I’m accommodating, helping with prioritisation, negotiating deadlines, and offering alternative solutions.

Because there is always a solution.

I believe in finding solutions and empowering stakeholders with choices rather than just saying no.

Thank you, Matteo, for that one. Now, what are the pros and cons of technology?

Technology offers many advantages, such as boosting efficiency and sparing us from tedious tasks, allowing us to focus on what we love. However, there’s a flip side to technology, particularly artificial intelligence. While AI translation can be helpful, it risks stripping away the human touch and personalised creativity, especially in creative localisation efforts.

AI can't fully replace human interaction and the unique flair we bring to the table.

Rather than fearing AI’s complete takeover, it’s best seen as a helpful tool to complement our skills and achieve our goals.

What key learnings would you want us to take away from your journey in this niche industry?

Continuously seek new knowledge and experiences, staying open to learning and maintaining humility. Even when you think you’ve reached the peak, remember there’s always room for improvement. Embrace your humanity, and always understand that the people you are talking to are also humans as you have your frustrations and hard days; they also do, so be a team player, try not to be an opponent, try not to oppose them.

Respect diverse perspectives and approaches, which is crucial not only in localisation but in all areas. Avoid getting stuck in your ways and remain open to enhancement and adaptation as necessary.

Beautiful Matteo, I appreciate the sentence in which you said we are humans and we're dealing with humans. So, let's take it that way.

So, as we bid adieu to this enthralling tale, let us carry forward the valuable lessons Matteo has imparted: a genuine passion for languages, adaptability to ever-changing market dynamics, and the ability to strike a harmonious balance between technology and human translation expertise. Thank you, Matteo, for taking us on this exhilarating ride through the world of localisation. Until next time, dear listeners, keep exploring the diverse world of language and culture, for it is there that the true magic of localisation lies!

On the flip side, are you eager to make your content a global sensation? Your content is brimming with potential, ready to captivate audiences from around the globe. At Translate By Humans, we don’t just translate; we perform transformations.

Why wait? Take the first step towards unleashing the magic of localisation today! Book a complimentary consultation call with us, and let’s embark on this transformative journey together!

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