The Kung Fu Master of Stock Teaches Grasshopper about Mobile Ads
Grasshopper burst into his Masters' quarters, breathing heavily from running across the monastery compound.
"What is it, young Grasshopper?" the old Master quizzed without looking up from his photo editing tasks.
"Master! I was searching the internet and found strategies on how you can make money with mobile ads!" Master continued to work on his images without looking up or replying to his student.
"You see, Master, I learned about things like speaking to your audience and using ad extensions! Geotargeting techniques and collecting analytics will help you make better marketing decisions! Native banners and video can help attract customers! There are all kinds of tips and tricks for marketing your business and products on mobile devices!"
Master stopped typing at the keyboard, closed his eyes for a moment, and let out a slow, quiet sigh. He opened his eyes and looked at the boy, "Grasshopper, yes, those are all valid points when it comes to making mobile apps and ads, but what do we do here at the monastery?"
Grasshopper thought long and hard. He wanted to impress his teacher and show that he was growing. He shifted his weight from one leg to another as he pondered the question. Minutes slowly passed by and the ticking of the ancient clock on the wall seemed to measure an eternity between each tock. Finally, the eyes on young Grasshopper widened and he smiled as he shouted "Master! We make pictures here at the monastery!"
The old man put a forced smile on his lips as he dropped his face into the palm of his hand. "Yes, Grasshopper, we are photographers and digital artists. Even though what you say is true, the focus here is creating images that will sell. If you want to be a marketing guru or a web designer, then you should join the Black Dragons on the other side of the mountain. We are partnered with them, they create web sites and marketing strategies and we supply images. Pictures and art is what we do here so if you want to make sales, then you need to learn what makes a good picture for a mobile ad."
The excitement on Grasshopper's face drained away and his skin changed to a reddish hue as he began to frown. "Master, I know how to make pictures! I'll show you how to make money with mobile ads!" And with that, Grasshopper ran out of the room and the old man went back to his work of processing images from his last photography shoot.
Several days later, Grasshopper walked into his Master's quarters while carrying a pencil and a small pad of notepaper. "Ah, young Grasshopper! I suspect you are going to school me now on mobile ads and marketing!"
"Here, Master!" Grasshopper handed his mentor a sheet of paper from the notepad, "Go to the web site listed on that!" Master got out his mobile phone, tapped away, and then scrutinized the web site. Master squinted hard. Then he held the phone up to his face and then held the phone away at arm's length, squinting the whole time.
"Grasshopper, what is this?"
"Look at the picture, Master! It's an ad for a travel agency!"
After more squinting the teacher looked at his student with a stern look and using eyes that begged an explanation.
"Can't you see, Master? it's a seagull on a beach! Doesn't that make you want to click on the image and explore the travel options?"
"Grasshopper," said the Kung Fu Master of Stock, "it appears the seagull is half a mile away. There is litter on the beach. And it's cloudy so the image is bland and unappealing. Good images will have a pop to them and look inviting. They will clearly convey the subject being portrayed. If you have to look at an image and try to figure out what you're looking at, people aren't going to click into the web site."
After running out of the room again with an angry look on his face, Grasshopper came back several days later and had Master go to a new web site. After reaching the site, Master saw in big letters that said TRAVEL DEALS! CLICK HERE!" While it wasn't a picture, it still advertised what might be interesting so Master clicked on the link. The next web page showed a cruise ship with a beach in the foreground and a sunset in the distance. Master was just about to tell Grasshopper that this was a great improvement when he saw the picture and related links for cruise tours disappear. The web page was replaced with a huge popup ad as if the page had been hijacked.
"Grasshopper, it appears this web page leads you to a full page ad."
The young student grinned from ear to ear. "Yes, Master! It's the latest in mobile ads! You can take over someone's phone and force the device to be stuck on your ad! Isn't that clever? I bet it makes people want to buy products from you and you only!'
"Grasshopper, don't you know how annoying this is? People avoid making purchases from these types of ads! Master began tapping on the display trying to make the ad go away and then harshly swore as he accidentally tapped on a hidden link that installed an unwanted app on his phone.
When Grasshopper saw the look on Master's face he knew it was time to go and he ran out of the room.
After several days Master got his phone back from the technical support people who worked on removing the unwanted app. It was just then that Grasshopper returned and provided Master with a new web site link.
When Master went to the link, several images popped up with ads which demonstrated that Grasshopper had figured out out to read cookies from previous web searches and inserted ads for related products. Then promptly Master's phone locked up and even after powering it off and on the phone was still disabled.
"Grasshopper, using bloated apps and script can slow down a phone and interrupt the internet signal the user is on. All you've done is use the same old tricks everyone else is doing and making your customers angry. Good mobile ads and marketing use minimal invasive code. They concisely state what they're about and they provide links that go to secure web sites that are optimized for performance. That is the first step for good, mobile ads. Nobody will be interested in you if you hijack their phone, install stealthy ads, and cause problems with the device because of performance issues."
"Here at the monastery we strive to learn how to make images that will catch the eye and give cause to intrigue the user to click down into the next link. Therefore images need to instantly communicate a specific concept, are well executed, and yet are simple."
Since Master's phone was again disabled and needed to go back to technical support, Master asked Grasshopper to hand over his cell phone. Master then tapped for a bit and handed the phone back to Grasshopper.
Grasshopper looked at the phone and then looked back at his Master with a questioning look. "Master, I don't understand. This is a web site where you fill out an application to join the Black Dragon Monastery!"
"Exactly," said the Kung Fu master. "Now, go!" Master then gave Grasshopper a swift, hard kick in the keister.
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