By Published On: February 6, 2019

Among designers in marketing the phrase “make it pop” it is a rather well-known trope. It is commonly discussed that clients will provide feedback using the phrase along with other non-specific comments. Some designers even get frustrated and lose respect for the feedback provided. What this shows is not a client’s inability to properly express what they feel needs improvement, it actually reveals the designer and their team’s inability to set proper expectations or decipher the intent of such comments. I myself have probably heard the phrase “make it pop” maybe once, and I’m pretty sure it was used at least somewhat ironically.

The truth is that clients are not likely to be designers, or to even work in fields where providing feedback on the effectiveness of visual techniques or copywriting is common to them. Teams creating designs for such clients should be WELL aware of this. Which is why it’s so important to set expectations for what kind of feedback you are hoping the client can provide. This should always be centered around their own knowledge of their business. Here at d.trio marketing, our AE’s always remind newer clients toward the end of a presentation that we’re hoping for feedback specifically about the things we might not be fully aware of regarding their business. This usually revolves around their specific knowledge of the products or services they provide and what has or has not been effective with their long-time clients. While these are things that should be determined as early in the process as possibly the knowledge they have built up over years of business can’t always be transferred to your team in the common length of a production timeline which usually is a short as a couple weeks.

If your presentation of the concepts doesn’t do enough to persuade clients of the strength of the literal and visual language of your design then it should always be reiterated why you believe your approach effectively accomplishes the tasks of the creative brief. Should you still receive non-specific feedback, especially about the visual aspects of your design, it’s important to remember that the client is likely responding to something very specific. Your job in these instances is to decipher what that is, and the only way to do so is have a conversation about it. One of the worst things you can do is just accept and implement feedback without more clarification.

Above all, your clients are looking to you to be the expert in communicating what they need to achieve their goals. That makes it important to work together, rather than approaching an ongoing collaboration with frustration or arrogance.

As with all marketing, a successful collaboration between the agency and the client is the key to achieving great business results – which is where the focus should be.

About the Author: Sam Glubka

Sam Glubka
For as long as he can remember, Sam has had a passion for creativity. We find it remarkable the number of different skills and disciplines in art and technology he’s managed to cram into his young skull. Over the course of his career, he’s tackled hundreds of unique design and development challenges, which is exactly how he likes it. At [c&t] he feels fortunate to work with a wide variety of clients in a wide variety of industries. His Graphic Design education, along with his passion for helping clients find their voice, develop their lore, and resonate with their audiences makes him an invaluable member of the cat&tonic team.
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