When you hire a digital agency to help you take your marketing to the next level, you have to expect that their recommendations are going to challenge your way of thinking, and the way that you’ve always done things.
It’s the presentation of those recommendations that separates a great digital marketing agency from one that doesn’t deserve your time or money. Every digital agency should treat their client’s existing, and future, body of work with respect by providing constructive feedback – not criticism – throughout their partnership.
Here are a few ways you can tell if your digital agency is providing constructive feedback or criticism:
Constructive Feedback is Based on Research.
This is plain and simple. If an agency is going to present you with a plan, they better have the data to back it up. An agency should use research and data to tell a story, and they should apply their creativity to that story.
You can recognize when an agency is instead using criticism, since their plan will be based on emotions, and they will be combative when you ask for more information on their conclusions. In general, they will use criticism as a way to shame your current marketing plan, so they can bully you into signing up for more services.
Constructive Feedback is Collaborative.
An agency should always have one goal in mind: getting the client to where they need to be. An agency is along for the ride, offering to help steer. When they present a plan using constructive feedback for their client, they are cooperative with the client’s suggestions and objections, and they are collaborative on how to meet somewhere that makes everyone happy.
An agency acting with criticism will simply be trying to get what they want. They will not be willing to adjust their plan, and they won’t be open to hearing the client’s perspective.
Constructive Feedback is a Conversation.
Your agency should be having a conversation with you. That conversation should focus on solutions and next steps. They should be giving you a full evaluation, including talking about what you are already doing right, and where you have room to improve.
The goal is to talk about improving the future. If your agency is talking at you, blaming you, and focusing on the problem without offering any positives or solutions, it’s time to find a new agency.
At Digital Style, criticism is a hard “no,” we don’t dish it internally and we don’t dish it externally. Here are three defining pillars that we use to help us keep our promise to create exceptional experiences and provide constructive feedback for our clients:
We are obsessed with personal service.
We don’t believe in “small” clients; we are going to treat every client right, for every project. We’re committed to meeting your deadlines and answering all your questions.
We solve problems for people.
We know that in order to help you meet your goals and create a website built for your visitors, we need to research the “how” and “why” of your project.
We focus on results.
Our client’s projects aren’t done when we’ve finished their design; they are done when we’ve gotten the results that we promised.