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How to Create Effective Market Research Questions

When it comes to market research, creating effective questions for customer interviews, focus groups, and other similar research formats can be challenging. As a marketer, you want to be able to ask the right questions that can garner the information that you want without overwhelming or misleading your interviewee. For instance, interview questions that encourage a particular response from your customers or try to undermine your competitors’ offerings can come off as disingenuous. These types of questions also prevent you from achieving your market research goals, which, in turn, halts your marketing efforts, whether it’s developing a strategy or helping a client launch a new product.

So how do you create effective market research questions?

While there isn’t exactly a universal step-by-step formula that all marketers follow, there are a few key tips that can help you during the creation process. In this article, we will explore how you can create effective market research questions that obtain the data you need for your marketing efforts.


Consider your end goal.

This may seem obvious, but don’t forget to consider your end goal with your market research—regardless of its background. It’s very easy to go off in another direction and lose focus on why you wanted to perform market research in the first place. If you lose focus, you won’t be able to ask the research questions you need, rendering your interview pointless and wasted. Even if you don’t think it’ll happen to you, it’s not something you want to risk.

Now, creating an end goal to supplement your research questions is simple. One acronym that can help you is SMART. SMART goals are goals that must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. By using this acronym to create your end goals, you’ll be able to keep track of each part of your market research design, allowing you to create great questions that are focused.


Define your target customers.

Before you create your market research questions, you need to know who your customers are. Having this knowledge provides you with a great foundation for your market research questions, especially since you’ll have a better scope of their possible pain points. Some key questions about your customers you should consider include:

  • Who are my ideal customers?
  • Who are my current customers?
  • What do both of these groups want?
  • What are their possible pain points?

Of course, you may need to perform a little bit of secondary research or brainstorm ideas to help you answer these questions.


Start with general questions first.

When creating your market research questions, make sure to start off with general questions. Questions like “Can you tell me about your background?” allows you to gather some key information about who your customer is. This allows you to brainstorm more questions later on in your interview and really dig into your customer’s pain points. You can create more specific questions as the interview moves forward.


The above list just provides some of the many ways that you can create market research questions. Be sure to deeply consider each question and the audience that’ll be answering them. Once you build your market research questions and develop a discussion guide that flows together, you’ll be able to have a productive research discussion that will help boost your marketing efforts.

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