Unless you've been touring Antarctica by dogsled for five years, you've heard of AMC's hit show "The Walking Dead." Even if the zombie apocalypse isn't your cup of plasma, you've probably heard the acclaim. And it isn't just from madly tweeting teenagers and overwrought critics. Something else is at work the average viewer doesn't notice: multiscreen marketing.

Multiscreen marketing is a storytelling strategy that brands employ to reach audiences across multiple platforms. It keeps messaging unified while playing to each medium's strengths.

Think about TV ads that include a link to the brand's website. Or Google display ads promoting the brand's mobile app or social media presence on Facebook or Twitter.

For example, online ads are promoting a TV ad turning up in perfectly optimized formats on PCs, tablets, smartphones, and other devices before the TV ad even airs. The ads may include Twitter hashtags that brands hope to see incorporated into consumers' social interactions.

MillwardBrown's AdReaction 2014 report described typical multiscreen users diverting to a second screen out of boredom, habit, and a desire to be more productive and in touch. Users spend two out of seven-plus hours of daily screen time eying a digital device while watching TV.

The research found those multiscreen consumers most receptive to micro-video, interactive TV ads, and TV ads promoting mobile apps, Facebook pages, and brand websites.

Encourage Actions

Consumers respond to a well-crafted brand story that feels the same, regardless of where it surfaces. They're interested and motivated to engage further.

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image of Wilson Raj

Wilson Raj is global customer intelligence director at SAS. He is responsible for collaborating with industry leaders, customers, and alliances, and sales, marketing, and product teams, to establish and evangelize SAS's customer intelligence solutions.

LinkedIn: Wilson Raj