I find it interesting when people within the agency and marketing world congratulate themselves on a successful strategy or creative idea. I find it extremely funny listening to the comments when a strategy or creative idea fails.
When my work fails, or rather, is not as successful as it was expected to be–I re-evaluate the process by which the strategy was developed. The criteria, the reasoning behind the strategy and the creative generated against the strategy. When I say strategy in the context of this post, I mean the rationale behind the media placement and the creative developed to support the overall strategy. In some cases, strategy is used with reference to the ethno-social demographic that would be most responsive to the strategy and creative. The word strategy, is used in many contexts, as is creative.
There is your overall strategy as a company, and there is your strategy for expressing your idea, message or service within the marketplace (creative development). These are two different things and should be treated as such. Identify the market and market the identity.
Creative might have been stellar with poor media placement; Media was exactly where your prospects are but creative may have been unremarkable; Strategy might have tried to dictate creative versus informing it; Creative might have been so abstract that the positioning or selling proposition made no sense.
I think the most important thing to remember is this, there are no bad ideas. Don't be so caught up with trying to solve the idea, as soon as you've had the notion. Especially when you may be working with a large team, as opposed to by yourself.
Oh–yea, remember that people are your demographics. And like all people, we're fickle and indecisive. After all, we're just human.