Team Management

5 Ways to Give Better Feedback on Creative Projects

As we head into the new year, one way marketers can take their campaign performance to the next level is by focusing on better feedback.

Source: Warchi / iStock / Getty

Whether you’re working to include deeper perspectives from your frontline staff or give more targeted feedback to your creative team, investing in stronger feedback loops can help up-level your performance in every area of the Marketing department. Here are five tips to help you give better feedback now.

Be clear about what you’re asking: Great feedback starts with being clear about what you’re asking. It’s not necessarily about asking for very specific details (e.g., What color should the logo be?). Instead, it’s about defining the goals behind the marketing piece that’s being critiqued. Be clear about who your audience is, your objectives for the piece, and your goals for the campaign. A landing page geared toward Fortune 500 CEOs will garner a different set of feedback than one that’s aimed at professional Millennials, for example.

Engage specifically and with open-ended questions: The best feedback often comes when you begin broadly. Once you’ve established your goals for the piece, collect people’s impressions. Ask questions like “What are your thoughts?” or “Can you give me some feedback points?” Once they’ve shared what stands out to them, use more specific questions to either drill down on issues they raised or to ask for more details on points you care about that they might not have mentioned.

Solicit feedback from a range of different voices: Let’s say you’ve created a new marketing piece. Who will you ask for feedback? If you stop at the product marketing team or the creative director, you’re missing out on important perspectives. Get sales to weigh in. Does the piece speak to the audience they interact with every day? Ask a business team lead for input. How does the piece align with their goals? A range of voices can help ensure that each marketing piece effectively reflects your company’s goals and objectives.

Build time into your project plan for feedback: One of the reasons companies don’t gather enough feedback is that they’re on tight timelines. If your production schedule leaves hours for transitions and no time for teams to review work products, you’re going to get radio silence or quick feedback like “This is fine.” Where possible, build in time to hop on the phone or give quick presentations to solicit feedback and enable a back-and-forth dynamic. This is often richer than asking people to weigh in via writing.

Create a culture that’s open to feedback: The best feedback comes when people feel safe sharing their ideas. Do your leaders model an openness to input? Do they nondefensively share ideas? If you’re not sure, take the time to ask people for input. Respect their ideas, and thank people for their contributions, even if you don’t use the input.

Developing a process based on best practices for gathering feedback can change the way your marketing products develop. With an increased range of input and deeper engagement, it’s possible to create campaigns that align with your company’s goals and resonate with your audience each and every time.