Providing Feedback: How to Mark up Marketing Materials No Matter the Medium

Mark Up

We’re in the midst of a marketing project for your small business or nonprofit. You’ve sent us your wishes, we’ve sent you our questions or concerns, and we’ve been well underway creating the marketing piece of your dreams.

Or so we hope. But even if we did knock it out of the park — like we try to do for each and every project — there’s bound to be some changes.

Pobody’s nerfic, right? And you might not know exactly what you were after until you have something to react to in front of your face.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had clients apologize for making changes.

“There’s just a few things…” they’ll start to say, averting their eyes.

“I loved this, but can I have a few things changed? Is that okay? Can I do that?”

Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes! We’re here for you and your small business. Your goals are our fulfillments. If we feel strongly enough about something and have rationale for our doing things a certain way, we’ll tell you.

How should I mark it up? You now ask. Here’s the best, most efficient ways you can deliver feedback to us (but p.s., you can do whatever is easiest for you).

Marking up a Word Document

If you’re reviewing copy in a Word document, you have a few options to show your thoughts, edits and additions/omissions.

  • Track Changes — If you know exactly how you want your content in an area you just don’t love, change it! But it’s always a good idea to let us know. The “tracked changes” feature in Word works well for this. Our whole team can see your changes/deletions/insertions/etc., learn your preferences, and better understand your brand and brand voice. Simply click on the “Review” tab and click “Track Changes,” and start editing.
  • Comments — If you have areas you want changed or tweaked but you want to defer to the expertise of your awesome marketing team, simply highlight the copy you’d like to comment on, and click on the “Review” tab and click “New Comment.”
  • In-Document Notes — If you’d rather not play around with the “Review” features in Word, you also can incorporate your own system of highlighting and typed notes beneath areas you’d like to see change. Whatever is easiest for you is easiest for us!

Pro tip: Always “save as” with your name or initials and the date. This way, as the document travels from you to us, back to you, no one is questioning which iteration file is which.

Using a Google Doc? The principles are nearly the same — the name of the tools are a little different. Change the mode from “editing” to “suggesting,” and all your changes will be recorded for others to see.

Marking up a PDF

When copy and design come together, you often get a PDF document to review. There are a number of commenting and drawing tools Adobe has built in to its software that allows you to easily share your thoughts. First, choose “Tools” and “Comment” to open up your menu of tools. Then, you can select from any number of markup tools:

  • Sticky Note — Add a sticky note next to a copy block, image, etc., that you want to comment on. The tool leaves a small icon where you dropped it on the page that triggers our creatives to look here.
  • Text Box or Callout — Sometimes it’s easier to make comments as if you were writing them on the page. The text box and callout features allow you to do this. Draw your box where you want to make a comment, and there your comment will stay for our creatives to see.
  • Text Options — You can directly edit copy if you have specific changes to make. Select from “add note to replace text” or “insert text as a cursor” to change or add additional copy. Or select “strikethrough text” to delete certain passages or parts of sentences.

Pro tip: When there will be multiple reviewers for one project, it’s best to sign off every comment with your initials. In case we have questions on edits or need clarification, we know exactly who to contact and can perfect your marketing piece all the quicker.

Marking up a Hard Copy

When all else fails, print out the ad, the website page, the brochure — whatever your marketing piece — and get out that handy-dandy pen or marker. Use a scanner or even pull out your smartphone and upload the image back onto your computer to send back with your creatives.

Pro tip: Use a bold color for optimal visibility and efficiency. Marks can disappear between the scanning and uploading phase, leaving you and your creatives going back and forth on edits they could have made the first time

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