Empathy, Education, and Localization Success at ClickUp – Paulina Makles – VistaTalks Episode 137


Empathy, Education, and Localization Success at ClickUp - Paulina Makles - VistaTalks Episode 137

In the latest episode of VistaTalks, Paulina Makles, a seasoned Localization Program Manager at ClickUp, shares her extensive experience and insights into the world of localization with VistaTalks Host María Roa. Paulina’s journey from a translator to a leading voice in localization offers valuable lessons for translation and localization professionals across industries.

From Translator to Localization Leader

Paulina’s career in localization began immediately after her graduation, where her outgoing personality led her from being a translator to a role that required constant human interaction. Her early engagement with a large Language Service Provider (LSP) opened her eyes to the intricate and fascinating world of localization, setting her on a path of diverse experiences, from transcreation to SEO localization.

The Shift to the Client Side

Transitioning from the supplier to the client side was a significant shift for Paulina. At ClickUp, she faced the challenge of explaining the roots of localization to colleagues unfamiliar with the concept. This journey wasn’t just about adapting to a new role but transforming how the company perceived and implemented localization. Paulina’s approach to revamping ClickUp’s localization program involved building a team tailored to the company’s unique needs and handpicking professionals she had worked with previously. Paulina ensured a smooth transition to a more sophisticated and effective localization process.

Overcoming Challenges with Education and Empathy

One of Paulina’s key strategies was focusing on education and empathy. Understanding the importance of explaining the value of localization to non-specialists, she emphasized the need for clear communication and setting a shared vision. This approach facilitated smoother changes and helped build a supportive environment for localization efforts.

The Importance of a Targeted Localization Strategy

Discussing global expansion, Paulina highlighted the common mistake of targeting too many markets simultaneously. She stressed the importance of a focused approach, understanding market priorities, and the flexibility to pivot strategies as needed. Paulina further outlines the complexities of global expansion; drawing from her rich experience in localization, she underscored the necessity of a meticulously focused approach to ensure a successful international presence.

Prioritizing Markets with Precision

Paulina pointed out that understanding market priorities is not just about identifying where a product might succeed but also recognizing where efforts will yield the highest return on investment. She shared insights from ClickUp’s journey, noting that a scattergun approach to localization can spread resources too thinly across markets that may not align with a company’s strategic goals or product relevance. As Paulina suggested, the key is in the strategic selection of markets. This process involves deep research and understanding the product’s user base in different regions. It’s about asking where a product or service will find a welcoming market and where its introduction can leverage existing infrastructures, cultural nuances, and economic conditions to ClickUp’s advantage.

Flexibility and the Willingness to Pivot

During the discussion, Paulina emphasized the importance of flexibility in any localization strategy. The global market landscape is dynamic, with consumer preferences, regulatory environments, and competitive landscapes changing rapidly. Companies must be open and prepared to pivot their strategies in response to these changes. For ClickUp, this meant being ready to reassess and realign their localization efforts to serve emerging markets better or to double down on markets showing unexpected growth.

Paulina’s perspective underscores the fact that a well-thought-out localization strategy is not just about translating content; it’s about creating a tailored approach that respects and leverages each market’s unique characteristics to achieve business objectives.


Embracing AI and Technology in Localization

Paulina expressed some clear objections to AI translations in one sense but was also excited about the potential of AI and generative AI technologies to enhance specific localization processes. By automating certain tasks, AI allows localization professionals to concentrate on aspects that require human creativity and empathy.

Final Thoughts

As we wrapped up our enriching conversation with Paulina Makles on this episode of VistaTalks, it became evident that localization extends far beyond mere translation. Through Paulina’s episode, anyone listening or watching will receive a glimpse into the strategic depths of localization, emphasizing the challenges and immense opportunities in understanding and navigating this complex field.

Paulina’s journey from a translator to a leading figure in localization at ClickUp showcases the importance of continuous learning and the readiness to adapt to the ever-evolving global market. Her emphasis on education, empathy, and strategic focus in expanding ClickUp’s international presence is a compelling case study for any professional or organization looking to make its mark on the global stage.

But beyond the strategies and insights, what stands out most is the human element of localization – the idea that at the heart of every successful global expansion is a team that’s well-informed, empathetic, and aligned towards a common goal. Paulina’s story is a testament to the power of collective effort and vision in overcoming the barriers of language and culture.

For anyone standing at the precipice of taking their company or career global, this episode with Paulina Makles is not just a conversation; it’s a discussion of the art and science of localization. It invites you to look deeper and consider the nuances of global expansion, armed with the knowledge and inspiration from one of the field’s most experienced voices. We encourage you to listen to the full episode of VistaTalks Ep 137 with Paulina Makles. Whether you’re a seasoned localization professional, someone curious about the field, or a business leader considering international expansion, Paulina’s insights offer invaluable perspectives that could shape your approach to global markets.

Join us in exploring the intricacies of localization and discover how you can leverage the power of language and culture to unlock new horizons for your business or career.

About VistaTalks

VistaTalks has an incredible lineup of guests from around the globe. We love to feature interesting discussions with interesting people from all around the world. Follow VistaTalks on Spotify for all the latest episodes, or subscribe to the show on Apple and Google podcasts. VistaTalks is available on many other podcast platforms. To learn more about VistaTalks, please visit https://www.vistatalks.com.

About Vistatec 

We have been helping some of the world’s most iconic brands to optimize their global commercial potential since 1997. Vistatec is one of the world’s leading global content solutions providers. HQ in Dublin, Ireland, with offices in Mountain View, California, USA. To learn more about Vistatec, please visit https://www.vistatec.com