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The Art and Science of Asking Amazing Questions

Nearly anyone can ask a question. 

If you count Google searches as questions, the human population asks over 8 billion questions daily —a huge number, but somehow pales compared to the 200 questions a preschooler can ask in a single day. 

Not all of these are thought-provoking questions driven out of curiosity. They may not be bad questions if such a thing exists. 

But they aren’t amazing. That’s because asking great questions doesn’t just happen. Coming up with, delivering, and capitalizing on value-adding questions unlocks insights and allows us to understand the world around us and the people we live with a little better. 

That requires work. And a solid strategy. Here’s what we recommend.

Four Steps to Asking Fantastic Questions

  1. Start at the end. Before asking questions, think about what you really want to learn. Then, craft questions accordingly. It’s easy to fire off questions that won’t actually educate you about critical issues or lead to valuable insights! 
  2. Keep it simple. If you have to breathe (or use commas) multiple times while asking a question, your question may be too complex. Respondents won’t know what to say, leading to inaccurate data. Use jargon sparingly, too — even if you’re speaking with someone in a specialized field. 
  3. Use open-ended questions. Questions that begin with “how,” “what,” and “why” tend to yield more interesting answers than simple confirmation queries. Likewise, avoid leading questions or questions where it’s clear to everyone that there’s a particular answer you’re hoping to hear. 
  4. Consider your context. As you prep questions, think about the time, location, and format of your interview and how your target audience will approach these questions. More nuanced questions may be best reserved for in-person interviews, whereas open-ended essay questions may be easier for people to tackle in an online survey

Why Asking Great Questions Is Essential for Market Research

When you ask great questions, you’re on the road to deeply understanding consumer behaviors, preferences, and needs. That understanding is vital if you want to develop truly effective marketing strategies, and essential products or stay competitive in your industry. 

We know that ideating great questionnaires to truly learn about your target demographic can be difficult. Sometimes, it’s tricky to be objective, creative, and analytic at the same time — and we get that! 

If you want professional support as you design more curious, creative surveys, turn to Ebony Marketing Systems. Call us at (718) 742-0006 to learn about our services, or send us a message anytime. 

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