Global Sound Bites - An Interview with Erica Haims, Executive Director for the Marketing Committee of Women in Localization
by Valeria Barbero
Years ago, at the San Francisco Localization Unconference, I met a cheerful, bright woman who told me that everybody seemed to be talking about localization in a way that did not resonate with her line of work. And yet she was working in localization! That was my first meeting with Erica Haims and we have been friends ever since.
Erica Haims is an expert in marketing globalization and participates in many panels and discussions on the engineering and systems world, too. She is a globalization pro. Marketing Localization continues to be very present within digital transformation efforts, where data is king, global data takes the lead.
I met Erica again at Women in Localization events this time, as the Executive Director of the Marketing Committee for Women in Localization. She is a marketing pro. Immensely talented and passionate, she is in charge of the execution of our marketing strategy, while running her own consultancy company and being the mom of the sweetest dog ever. But let's hear it from her!
1. What is your name and what is your role in Women in Localization?
My name is Erica Haims and I am the Executive Director of the Marketing Committee.
2. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in Long Island, NY and I currently live in San Francisco, California, in the United States.
3. I know you have a strong background in Marketing Globalization. Do you want to tell us more about that?
I was working in content production. My position evolved into Localization because I saw a need to fill in the gaps in communication as it traveled the globe. I was managing content and there was a need to make sure that messaging did not get lost in the production process. I raised my hand, and in the process I learned marketing globalization.
4. Marketing and digital marketing in particular is an area in our industry that keeps pressing hard, what are your thoughts here?
It was and it is very exciting. Localization is the adaptation of content and has a very wide scope from software to product user interface to marketing content. Communicating the value of a company is crucial. The Point of View of a company, its imperatives, the message, the context, you have to set all that up. Digital is the place to be. In your phone, your tablet, changing topics every 8 seconds. Customers want to be spoken to in their own language. If not, we can lose them.
5. You have worked a lot with images, videos, voice over, etc. I see that many campaigns and websites are relying on visuals more and more. This makes our work more challenging and more beautiful because we have to localize all that.
For sure. The customer, no matter where they live is demanding to be marketed to. It's referred to now as the GLOCAL model. I believe in up front c-level planning and lifetime partnership. Localization professionals need context and time in order to advise and execute appropriately. The stronger the partnership is, the smoother and more successful the outcome.
6. Right now you are taking care of the marketing for Women in Localization. What attracted you to this volunteer position?
I love working with people all over the globe and promoting this great industry that is growing and evolving.
7. Volunteering with Women in Localization has been a very nice experience for me and I know it is the same for you. How do you envision our “brand”?
We are a strong network that has about 4,000 women who support and inspire each other. We are a force.
8. You have been working really hard on the new website for Women in Localization. What is your goal for this launch?
We are going to launch our new branding with our new website. Our goal is to share with the world who we are and have a place for our members.
9. From a marketing perspective, how do you make sure that our brand, our values and our personality shows up on the website?
We have an incredible team that is focused on that effort. The team is made up of W.L. members from all over the world. The Board has our values mapped, we then transfer those values to all committees. We know what to say, we have our phrases, our lines, our focus. We spend time training our team.
10. These are exciting times for our industry and for women. Lots of global growth and many opportunities for women. What do you see down the road for Women in Localization?
We have talented committees that have exciting things in the works. New chapters have joined our family this year. Also, W.L. will be at most of the major industry events such as GALA and the upcoming LocWorlds.
11. Yes, I saw that there is a lot of networking going on with the other organizations in the industry. It is a great opportunity for us to join forces and become a trusted voice in the industry.
We are a trusted voice. There is a lot of work and dedication that is happening on daily basis by all of our volunteers to make this happen. We partner with GALA, we partner with The Localization Institute and LocWorld, we partner with CSA.
12. What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you in localization?
They are usually funny long after the fact. I want all projects to be successful. Sometimes you can laugh about the mistakes after you fix them. With marketing messaging, you have to be very careful to keep the meaning intact.