26 April 2022 Inge de Jong

Too much feedback will kill you - go with version 3!

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Unpopular opinion: if you have a 9th version of a content document, it probably sucks. Yet, to many people, a document that’s named ebook_version9_final_def_def_reallydef equals high quality. After all, the more feedback rounds, the more perfect the end result! Right? 

Well, no. Feedback is good, but too much feedback will kill your content- quite literally. 

In this article, we’ll explore ways for marketing managers to get to high quality content, faster by stopping at the peak- which turns out is version 3! 😮

You’re headed for disaster (cause you never read the signs 🎶)

Whether you outsource content creation to a B2B agency or ask your own copywriters and designers, content feedback is necessary to get great results. No one gets it right in one go, and even the most experienced, professional content creators need guidance. After all, your copywriters and designers probably aren’t IT security experts too, or rocket scientists, or experts in what your company does.

The actual IT security expert, rocket scientist or other expert needs to share his or her expertise with the content creators and give them guidance along the way. Hence: feedback. Then, when the piece of content is finished, an editor needs to dot the i’s and check the content for spelling errors, grammar mistakes and inconsistencies. In this context, content feedback is good.

But often, this is not where feedback ends. 

Because, when a piece of content has been finalised, that’s usually when important people in your organisation want to have their say, too. Your boss, for example, is too busy to stick with your content feedback schedule, but she will tell you this:


🤷‍♀️ Can we add our new product to the story?

🙅‍♀️ I don’t know why but it doesn’t feel right

🙋‍♀️  I’d really like to include a couple of use cases and delete chapter 3, 4 and 7

💁‍♀️ This tone of voice is very childish, can you rewrite everything?

🤦‍♀️  I don’t like it. 


And that’s just your boss! What about that guy from Compliance, who tells you the clever car metaphor in your blog isn’t representative of your brand because you try to come across as “green” and “durable”? Or the woman from the sales department who wants to add an entire chapter so she can tell colleagues she had a part in your success?

No need to tell you that this is feedback gone wrong.


The third version is king 👑


So what are you to do? You can’t tell colleagues not to give feedback, because you need their expertise and opinions to get to the best possible outcome. You can’t keep working like this either, because getting content out takes ages and your copywriter and designer are starting to gang up on you. The second floor has become a dangerous place to be and who will feed all your cats if you don’t come home?

The answer is simple: stop at version 3. This version has been reviewed by the consulted expert, an editor for spelling and grammar (and maybe your boss if she asks nicely), but still has all the creativity of the content creator. In all versions that follow after version 3, the feedback contradicts with the feedback by the consulted expert and the editor- meaning something else is going on, such as:


  1. The overall marketing strategy is unclear
  2. The overall company strategy is unclear
  3. People with a lack of marketing knowledge got the upper hand
  4. Colleagues are using your content as a weapon in a feud
  5. Your boss is micromanaging
  6. People that were asked for feedback haven’t been briefed right


In cases 1-5, we advise you to put the content process on hold and ask the meddlers to solve their problems first. If you’re dealing with reason 6- that one’s on you. More on that later.

Content feedback process: the three stage rocket approach 🚀


When (most of) the internal feuds have been resolved, that’s when you can start structuring your content feedback process. And good news: it is not that complicated and it will make your life easier. 

At Deeply Digital, we like to work towards a third version using the three stage rocket approach, which consists of two extensive, in-depth feedback rounds followed by a dots-on-the-i’s round (it resembles the Triangular Feedback Framework by Vec, which I also really like). With this approach, you take into account both timing and people. In terms of timing, there’s no use nitpicking over tiny details when your content creator is only in the draft stage. And it’s very inefficient to suggest major changes when the piece of content is practically done either.  

In terms of people, experts sometimes meddle with the tone of voice and terminology where they shouldn’t, so I recommend you leave them out of the feedback loop when the piece of content is in its final stage. You do however need their feedback in the first round, where it’s all about messaging and factual information. Visualised, the three stage rocket comes down to this:





Foundational stage 

Facts, structure, messaging

Experts, yourself (=the marketing manager)


Structure, terminology, priorities

Experts, yourself,
your boss

Dots on the i’s stage

Spelling, grammar, readability

Only you

When using the three stage rocket approach, these are important hints:

  • Brief your stakeholders. Tell them how many feedback rounds there will be and who will be involved. For example, when you ask your boss to review a content asset that’s in the adjusting phase, tell him or her to not focus on small details or spelling. 

  • Be strict, but not stubborn. Sometimes, the expert that has been interviewed needs to go over the piece a third time. If this is needed to improve the quality of the content, that’s fine. However, if you feel the content isn’t getting any better, remind the expert of your feedback briefing.

  • When you send content to several stakeholders, such as two experts and your boss, ask them to add suggestions to the same document. Your content writer or designer will go mad when they receive three different documents with contradicting feedback.

  • Speaking of contradictions: don’t forward contradicting feedback to the content creators. If there’s a disagreement between two colleagues, fix it first. 


So there you have it: an easier way of structuring your content feedback process. Do you have any questions about feedback or content marketing in general? Reach out!


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