How to Give Great Feedback to Your Creative Team

Posted at Dec 10, 2018 6:19:45 PM by Michelle Sternbauer | Share

Have you ever been a part of a creative design process with an agency or in-house creative team? How was the feedback stage? Did you have any trouble explaining what was needed? What types of feedback should you use for the best results? 

Creative Design Process | Creative Team | THAT Agency


Just like a flashlight in a dark room, feedback is the bridge that connects creatives to the final output (and you to a solid return on your investment). Providing clear and articulate feedback has been a daunting task for many non-creatives during the creative design process, but it shouldn’t have to be. Whether you have an in-house creative team or you're working with an external creative marketing agency, there are six points to keep in mind to get the best results when giving feedback.

1. Start with a Creative brief or meeting

This is a great way to break the ice. A creative brief lets everyone get to know each other and gain a better understanding of the project. Jumping into this meeting might seem intimidating at first, but trust that all parties are interested in (and excited about!) positively positioning your business in the eyes of your customers. This shared purpose is what unites creatives and non-creatives alike in the business world.

Your creative brief should be a broad brushstroke of a meeting; more project based and less specific. Colors, imagery, tone, and the overall look and feel of any creative marketing piece should always align with your brand, and this meeting is where you can share your brand guidelines and standards to ensure consistency. 

2. Stay focused on the end customer

Working with a creative team can make it seem like everything is for you (e.g., the pitch, cool videos, animations, images, and ads), but any marketing project is ultimately meant for your customers. Therefore, don't make your feedback all about you or your opinion.

Remember that you are partnering with creatives for their talents, expertise, and experience, so let them do their jobs and pitch you their ideas while explaining the rationale behind why they chose what they chose. If you disagree with their recommendations, do so from the point of view of the end customer. After all, everyone associated with the project -- both creative and non-creative, internal and external -- wants to do what's best for the customer, as customers are key to the success of any business (and any marketing project).

3. Be constructive

During the creative design process, the creative team won’t always hit the nail on the head. When this happens, start by pointing out one or two aspects that are positive about the project thus far. Then move on to address the other points that need updating. Constructive, explanatory feedback will help the creative team identify what is needed to deliver the best results.

4. Seek understanding

Communicating can be hard if you don’t know what you are talking about. Don’t let this discourage you, as you are still able to send references (from competitors and other industries), ideas (drawings, existing ads/designs) and talk with the creative team. Keep all team members introduced in the creative brief involved throughout, so it doesn’t turn into a game of telephone or interpreting the interpreter. Many key ideas can get lost in translation without keeping the communication doors open.

On the other side, the creative team will provide reasons for their designs, layouts, copy, and color choices. Don’t let this be the final decision. Let this be an opportunity to understand and to make a more calculated decision in what final product is chosen.

5. Don’t lose momentum

Keeping a steady pace of moving forward is crucial. Don’t let approvals and nit picking get in the way. The approval process sometimes can be a bit of a back and forth to get to the final desired product. Micromanaging doesn’t always get the best results from creativity. So, with a broader approach, let your creative team pitch you on the final output with explanations why. This will allow the creatives to get even more inventive (their specialty!) and come up with the results your business really needs.

6. Enjoy the process

The creative design process should be fun. This process is where you can share your passion for your business and help develop messaging that speaks to the key stakeholders of any marketing project -- your customers. Keep this in mind so that egos and feelings don’t get involved, and the path will remain clear to get to the best results.

Every creative marketing idea must start somewhere, and if it wasn’t for great feedback, those ideas would never become their best. Learning how to give great feedback can help with productivity, efficiency, efforts, and overall … cost. Keep these points in perspective when working with your creative team in the future. If you don’t have a creative team, I know a great one: contact THAT Agency and let’s get to work!

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Tags: Marketing Strategy

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