Legacy is defined as anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor. When money, heirlooms, property or wealth are associated with the term legacy it holds a certain cachet. Conversely, when prior work, earlier preparations or historical marketing activities are described as a legacy, the label can conjure a tarnished image, shifting from cachet to passé.
Legacy marketing is both experiential and influential. It can be onerous when thoughtlessly developed or poorly executed. Alternatively, it can be masterful when well conceived or skillfully implemented.
Legacy marketing occurs on a regular basis. Someone somewhere for some company is marketing a product or service every day. The execution of marketing tactics and activities create product histories and set brand foundations. That which happens today, influences tomorrow.
As I was growing up my parents repeatedly encouraged me with the phrase ‘if a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well’. The unspoken conclusion to this aphorism was, ‘the first time’. I was meant to understand that if I was spending my time and effort to do something, doing it well should be the goal. After all, I was going to be recognized for the work, good or bad.
In my career I’ve had the privilege of working with high caliber professionals. I’ve also worked along side colleagues who were passing through, with little interest in the legacy they left behind. The difference between the two is in the quality of their work. The high caliber professionals produce rich and potent work. Their work creates strong foundations that support a brand. Future efforts benefit from predecessors work. Unremarkable work performed by those with little interest, results in weak and thin foundations, requiring future efforts to retool and rebuild rather than improve upon.
I am a strong believer in declaring legacy marketing as a goal. The kind of marketing that contributes to the future of the brand because strong and vital foundations are created. My parents convinced me that ‘doing it well the first time’ is the only acceptable approach. We all leave legacies; I want mine to be a ‘thing well done’.
(c) 2010 pH Consulting