Tapping into mobile marketing’s potential and using it to achieve business success continues to be a highly contested topic. From botched QR code attempts and SMS disasters to ignorable mobile ads, we've seemingly tried it all. Many who fail at these relatively newer technologies still haven’t mastered the more familiar channels consumers are using to reach their brands (web, TV, social, etc). So with the advent of the “second screen,” marketers are bracing themselves to tackle yet another phenomenon.

shutterstock_23736475.jpgIn hindsight, however, the second screen is not so much of a phenomenon, as an acceptance of consumers’ natural media consumption behaviors. After all, most of us have our smartphones or tablets (or both) nearby most of the time -- especially when engaging in more passive activities like watching TV, listening to music or surfing the net. We’re all multitasking, all the time, whether we’re aware of it or not.

The smart brands are playing right into consumers’ hands and embracing their habits. Tactics such as dedicated hash-tags, smartphone and tablet apps, and bonus online content are becoming the norm. Even AMC tells fans to “log on to AMC.com to start your two screen experience” during certain shows.

But getting on the second screen bandwagon, no matter how you choose to do so, is only half the battle. The manner in which you drive consumers to engage with it, the content you provide and your re-engagement strategy all play a role in sustaining second screen success.

1. Know Your Audience

You may be inclined to take the easy way out by copying other brands’ second screen success. But remember that what works for one audience may not work for yours.

If your Twitter following or its engagement is dismal, trying to force hash-tag based content could fail miserably. However, if your mobile site boasts great traffic, then capitalize on that by updating the content or even creating a mobile microsite dedicated to your second screen fans. At the end of the day, it’s always important to reinforce behaviors, not force them.

2. Make it Simple

Reinforcing inherent consumer behaviors can be one of the best ways to procure engagement with your second screen content. In short: don’t overthink your strategy.