"What type of feedback would you like?"


Over the past few weeks, my wife has been hard at work revamping her photography website. On Saturday evening, she hit a point where she thought she was finally finished and wanted to know what I thought of it. And so she asked,


"Can you take a look at this when you have a moment and let me know what you think?"


I'm not sure if the question I asked in response was prompted by my 20-years as a marketer, my four years as an independent management consultant, or my 10.5 years as a married man.


But I knew enough to ask it.


"Sure thing. What type of feedback would you like?"


When she asked what I meant, I asked the question a different way: "Do you want my feedback as a consultant or as your husband?"


You see, I could have taken hours to thoroughly review every page of her website, providing detailed recommendations on how to optimize her copy, layout, design, call-to-actions, pricing model... and so forth. I've done that before for clients who wanted to leverage my expertise to improve.


And those hours would have been completely wasted if all she wanted from me was a general opinion and an acknowledgement of all her hard work.


Marketing 101: know your audience.


When people ask you for your thoughts, take a moment to understand exactly what they're hoping to accomplish by asking.


It can save you both a lot of time and frustration.


- dp