Giving Feedback: A Crucial Tool for Marketers

The 8-step hack to rock at it + 2 ways to be more persuasive + 1 way to make the best decision

Photo by Xuan Nguyen on Unsplash

“Giving feedback is an art. It’s the ultimate life hack for a marketer.”

Being a marketer, you have to give feedback to your team members, starting from product manager to the designer, to even that janitor who doesn’t directly symbolize anything about the brand, but he too has an impact on how a brand is perceived.

This means feedback is a necessity to run a business.

You also have to give feedback to yourself by evaluating your own thoughts or decisions.

Without giving feedback, we don’t learn and so we don’t improve.

But, giving wrong feedback or worse, giving feedback the wrong way could be downright dangerous.

But, there’s a way, a hack of giving feedback which not only increases the team member’s thinking process but also makes them happy to work.

The 8-step Hack:

  1. What’s The End-goal?
  2. Current Way
  3. Why Is The Current Way Good?
  4. What’s The Problem With The Current Way?
  5. Why Is It A Problem?
  6. A Better Solution
  7. Example Of Solution
  8. Why Is The Example Good?

1. What’s The End-goal?

This is crucial. Obviously the end-goal is about how it adds value to your company, but you also should ensure that it helps the customer.

Here, getting crystal clear about your end-goal is the key. It could be to increase the downloads, increase your sales, or just collecting email addresses — there has to be some specific, and if possible, measurable goal. Also, you should be clear about how you’ll achieve that goal.

Example: We want to increase our app downloads while adding value to our customers and we want to achieve it by providing a valuable post on our Twitter account, promoting our app which will help users to learn programming in a fun and interesting way, and we’ll use hashtags for it to reach a wider audience.

2. Current Way

To highlight what is the current way something is there. Also to show where the problem actually lies and to help make a comparison with the new solution.

Example: Who else wants to learn programming?

3. Why Is The Current Way Good?

There’s a good side to everything. Before complaining/explaining your point about why something is wrong or bad, it’s nice to highlight the fact about why it is good. This makes the other person happy and open to hear your feedback out and take action on improving them accordingly.

Example: It’s a question, which is really good. It arouses curiosity and makes people continue to read on.

4. What’s The Problem With The Current Way?

Now you come to the main point. Here you pinpoint what’s the exact problem for the current way something is there.

Example: A person who already wants to learn programming will directly skip this because he DEFINITELY wants to learn programming and he won’t trust you for what comes next. And, why should he? You might end up confusing him!

5. Why Is It A Problem?

You can’t simply say the problem and leave. You need to show why it’s a problem. I don’t want to hear my fault, I want to know WHY it’s my fault. What are the consequences?

Example: What special have you got for him to trust you/get convinced to read on, or even at least answer your question (in their head)?

6. A Better Solution

Now you propose a better solution. If you don’t have anything good, better yet something special or new here, don’t say anything. You don’t have the right to give feedback. If you can’t give a solution, you don’t have any problem.

Example: Give something special in the question and make it close-ended.

7. Example Of Solution

Now show me the example of your solution. Don’t just tell, show. It’s easier to visualize and compare.

Example: Do you want to learn programming in a fun way?

8. Why Is The Example Good?

Again, I don’t trust you. I need the WHY. I need to know why it’s good.

Example: Fun is a special thing. I either want to learn in a fun way or I don’t, but we know everybody WILL want to learn in a fun way. This means people read on and maybe even click. And, the close-ended question is the key here — it keeps the focus on our main point, ‘learn programming in a fun way’ and avoids people getting distracted.

2 Ways to Be More Persuasive:

1. YOU might be powerful. WE is the most powerful.

In leadership, YOU might be powerful — you give your own credit to someone else by using the word ‘you’, but in marketing, precisely when giving feedback, ‘you’ becomes forceful. However, WE is more influential.

Forceful Example: You did a mistake here.

Persuasive example: We did a big mistake here.

Here, even when you add the word ‘big’ in the persuasive example, still it doesn’t matter, it’s not much offending. Actually, it’s even better here. You become more persuasive when you add the word ‘big’ because you acknowledge that we, together, can make big mistakes and it’s absolutely fine. Also, taking the fault on your shoulder (when you actually didn’t make that fault) makes the other person feel you’re a good person and makes him trust you more, hence resulting in him getting convinced easily.

2. Be Courageous to Say: “I Could Be Wrong.”

After giving feedback, when you acknowledge that you can be wrong, it not only makes you more persuasive and trustworthy, it makes that person fall in love with you. Because not everyone has the courage to say that they are wrong.

Remember, vulnerability makes you trustworthy.

1 Way to Make the Best Decision:

It’s tough to get people’s thoughts out. Even tougher to get someone’s feelings out, especially in this instant world of online communication — instant messaging. Because its tedious to type and harder to see the feelings.

You know that you might be wrong with your decision on something while giving feedback. And, the other side might have a good reason for doing something the way they did.

In this case, to get the other’s persons’ thoughts/reasoning out, especially feelings, you can try a small hack.

Be Courageous to Be Wrong.

Do mistakes so that the other person corrects you.

It’s difficult to get someone’s thoughts out, but it’s way simpler to arouse an emotion in someone and when that gets turned on, getting the thoughts out is a piece of cake. I call this emotion The Greed Of Being Right: we try to prove that we are right with our decision and the way the opposite person is thinking isn’t what I thought of while making that decision.

Example: Someone didn’t follow as you said and made his own decision. Now, going to him and asking “why didn’t you follow as I said?” or “why did you do this that way?” has a lesser chance for you to get a response (a proper, reasonable, perfect response) from him.

However, doing mistakes, like saying him“Your decision will help us increase our downloads. Good thinking.” when you know it actually won’t, it will arouse an emotion in him (if his reason behind the decision isn’t to actually increase the downloads, but sales or something else) and he’ll try his best to prove his point.

Another example could be: “You making that decision is decreasing our sales.” might arouse an emotion of ‘my current goal isn't actually to increase sales, but increase customer loyalty’ in the opposite person and have him prove his point.

This way, you can draw the proper conclusion of someome’s decision and make the best decision while giving a feedback.

Final Thoughts:

Feedback not only is crucial, its a necessity in the business world. But, the wrong way of giving feedback could be dangerous for you and your business.

Following these hacks will make giving and receiving feedback way more fun and interesting.

At our company, Programming Hero, we live by these rules while giving feedback.

This works.

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