How Marketers Can Expertly Craft Questions

Artistic Image of Question Marks

I’m sure by now you have at least heard of Open AI’s ChatGPT and even played with it enough to get a sense of what it can accomplish, but most likely barely scratching the surface. We’ve talked about how AI will create an environment where businesses can run lean as long as they have the tools that make it possible. One of those tools is AI. But what AI tool to use, how to implement it, who manages and is accountable for the output, who fact checks and does quality control, for the most part, is still up to a human.

What is difficult for humans to do is to define what it is they want. Once defined, forming the question, request or query takes some practice as it can be difficult to articulate specific details wanted in the desired results. We will just need to become better at asking the dataset the right questions. So here we go!

What better way to understand details to include in an AI chat request than to ask ChatGPT directly what to include? I asked “What should a ChatGPT prompt include to get the best possible response?” And in less than five seconds, I got this answer:

To get the best possible response from ChatGPT, here are some guidelines for crafting a prompt:

  • Be specific: Provide as much context and detail as possible. This will help ChatGPT understand your question better and provide a more accurate and relevant response.
  • Be clear: Use simple and straightforward language. Avoid using jargon or overly technical terms unless they are necessary.
  • Be concise: Keep your prompt brief and to the point. Avoid adding unnecessary information or including multiple questions in one prompt.
  • Be open-ended: Avoid yes/no questions or questions that can be answered with a single word. Instead, ask open-ended questions that require a more detailed response.
  • Be respectful: Remember that ChatGPT is an AI language model and treat it with respect. Avoid using offensive language or asking inappropriate questions.
  • By following these guidelines, you can increase the likelihood of receiving the best possible response from ChatGPT.
  • Use proper grammar and punctuation: Writing in clear and correct English will help ChatGPT understand your prompt better and provide a more accurate response.
  • Avoid bias: Try to phrase your prompt in a neutral and unbiased way. Avoid making assumptions or leading the conversation in a specific direction.
  • Provide examples: If possible, provide examples to illustrate your question or clarify your point. This can help ChatGPT provide a more tailored and accurate response.
  • Use relevant keywords: Including relevant keywords in your prompt can help ChatGPT better understand the context and provide a more relevant response.
  • Keep an open mind: Remember that ChatGPT is an AI language model and may not always provide a perfect response. Keep an open mind and be willing to explore different ideas and perspectives.

It wasn’t the bulleted list of specifics I was really hoping for. That just tells me I wasn’t asking the question the right way. It forced me to practice being very specific when forming the question and I thought that this post might help my fellow marketers get the best results with their own questions. Form your questions with the following in mind:

  • Who? From whose perspective should the content be written? First or third person? A brand? What tone? Informative, fun but professional, like a specific author?
  • What? What would you like to do? What type of deliverable? A report, article, blog post, analysis, web page, code base? Specific focus? What to include?
  • When? A date/time range if results should only factor in a specific date/time range.
  • Where? Specific resources to use if results shouldn’t factor in all available resources.
  • Why? To answer the question [fill in the blank].

Here are a couple of examples using the “Who-What-When-Where-Whys” above to form the chat prompt that gets results:

From a business analyst’s perspective with an informative tone, perform a competitive analysis and write a report that compares [Brand] to [Brands A, B and C]. Focus on pricing, market positioning, branding and messaging. Research the relevant market and analyze each brand to identify key differences and similarities. Based on all information available, let me know how [brand] can improve and actionable steps [Brand] can make to generate more revenue while increasing profit margins compared to [Brands A, B and C].

From an SEO auditor’s perspective, review [Website Domain] and create a report using charts, graphs and tables on the current website’s search engine health. Include a comprehensive list of suggested keywords to saturate the website content to optimize for the first page of organic search results for a [Type of business/organization]. Based on all information available, present all the ways [Website Domain] can optimize their website to rank higher in organic search engine results (SERPS).

It’s not always easy to define what exactly it is you want in business or your personal lives. It takes a lot of practice to get good at it. But over time you will get better at crafting questions to get the results you’re looking for. Happy asking.

Jenny Lassi • April 10, 2023

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