Are you asking the right questions?

I’ve always learned a lot about people by the questions they ask. It gives me insight into how they think and what they view as meaningful. This critical skill of asking the right questions was echoed by Tim Brown, the chief executive and president of IDEO in a recent interview published in the New York Times.

“One of the things that I’ve tried to do more and more and I obviously have the opportunity to do as a leader is to take ownership of the question. And so I’m much more interested these days in having debates about what the questions should be than I necessarily am about the solutions,” said Mr. Brown.

Too often I see marketers stressing about finding the right answer to the wrong question. Optimizing their plans to the wrong KPIs. Refining their messages to the wrong markets. Trying to tweak obsolete organizational structures. Good marketers have a knack for asking insightful questions that break them out of the status quo.

What are the best questions you’ve heard effective marketers ask?