Agency feedback: How to give it to get the best from your creative agency

Giving your agency feedback is a breeze when they nail it. But when they miss the mark, it can feel like one more tedious task. We get it. Looming deadlines, back-to-back meetings, a scary to-do list. And now your agency needs feedback. (Sigh.)

Time well spent

Providing feedback might not seem significant to the creative process, but we can’t overstate its importance—or your role in it. Make time upfront to provide thoughtful, grounded feedback and we can almost guarantee a stellar return on your investment. On the flip side, murky feedback almost certainly leads to extra work, cost overruns and a lot less joy.

Delegate to your agency

If you need to get buy-in from people outside your core team, put your agency on the job. They bring an outside perspective and strategic rationale that can help align these decision-makers and influencers. Added bonus: your agency gets to listen and respond to the group’s unfiltered feedback.

Act as the filter

You might be asked to share your agency’s work without the benefit of a formal presentation. This can be tough for several reasons. First, those who haven’t read the creative brief may not understand the challenge, strategy or objectives. Second, most everyone will want to weigh in, flooding your inbox with comments, opinions and creative suggestions. Before you forward all these emails to your agency, keep in mind that you are absolutely the most qualified person to filter and consolidate the feedback. If you leave it to your agency, there’s a very good chance they’ll guess wrong.

Emotional intelligence

Your gut reaction can uncover valuable insights if—and only if—you explain precisely why you like something. Or why you don’t. Understanding the context of the response is pure gold for your agency. Similarly, when you can describe what you’re aiming for or what’s missing, rather than dictating changes, your agency can take a fresh look at the work and come up with a solution you might not have considered.

On behalf of all of us at StoneArch, we look forward to your feedback.