Blog Activity

  • DMCNY Announces 2014 Mal Dunn Leadership Award

    Direct Marketing Club of New York Bestows 2014 Mal Dunn Leadership Award
    To Bruce Biegel of Winterberry Group

    -Biegel recognized for his cutting-edge media & trends research in integrated marketing and his leadership in data-driven marketing-

    NEW YORK, September 9, 2014 – The Direct Marketing Club of New York (www.dmcny.org) will present today its 2014 Mal Dunn Leadership Award, sponsored by Alliant, to Bruce Biegel, senior managing director, Winterberry Group, at a special luncheon on Thursday, September 11. The Mal Dunn Leadership Award recognizes data-driven marketing professionals for their exemplary service to the field.

    "Bruce has earned our industry’s respect as the leading authority on media trends, forecasts and how to capitalize on the changes sweeping the marketing landscape," said DMCNY Club Advisor JoAnne Dunn, president and chief executive officer, Alliant, a leading provider of audience targeting and marketing optimization solutions. "The Mal Dunn Leadership Award – named for one of our industry’s visionaries – recognizes contributions to our field and to the advancement and practice of data-driven marketing. Bruce’s leadership in developing and publishing actionable research, plus his participation in association, education and industry activities, make him a worthy recipient of this honor.”

    Biegel is a featured speaker at many industry conferences, and presents his annual forecast of general media and digital-direct media spending and trends each year at DMCNY’s January luncheon.  He also is a member of the Direct Marketing Association Board of Directors and serves as co-chair of its Innovation Awards. [Editor’s Note: A full biography follows below.]

    This is the 39th time that the award has been presented dating back to 1972 (originally called the DMCNY Leadership Award and renamed for Mal Dunn in 1994), and past recipients include Lester Wunderman, Lee Epstein, Emily Soell and Matt Blumberg, among others.  The award will be bestowed today at the Direct Marketing Club of New York’s September 11 luncheon: http://www.dmcny.org/event/2014_sept_luncheon

    About Bruce Biegel, Senior Managing Director, Winterberry Group

    As Winterberry Group's senior managing director, Bruce Biegel leads the firm's consulting practice and establishes its strategic and operational agenda. A seasoned executive with more than two decades of hands-on experience in building businesses from the ground up, his diverse responsibilities have included strategic and business planning, financing, global multichannel marketing, technology development and support, legal coordination and financial management.

    At Winterberry Group, Bruce has led more than 120 engagements over the past eight years, serving a wide range of marketers, agencies, direct and digital marketing service providers and many of the private equity firms who are investing in the sector. Among others, these include assignments for Acxiom, arvato Services (the global marketing services division of Bertelsmann AG), eCircle, Capital One Financial Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co, Court Square Capital, KRG Capital and KKR.

    A DMCNY Silver Apple award winner, he currently serves as a member of the Direct Marketing Association's board of directors and executive committee, its Education and Thought Leadership Advisory Community, its Data Community and as co-chair of DMA’s annual Innovation Awards. Bruce is a frequent, in-demand speaker at major marketing industry conferences and symposia. Speaking engagements include Direct Marketing Club of New York, major events of the DMA, the Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM) annual conference, the 4As Transformation Conference, as well as events tailored to the direct mail, print production and digital media segments of the industry.

    In addition to his role at Winterberry Group, Bruce serves as a senior advisor to its parent investment bank Petsky Prunier LLC and serves on the board of directors of V12 Group Inc.

    Prior to joining Winterberry Group in 2002, Bruce served as a director and CFO of IMXI, owner of ThinkDirectMarketing, where he was president, chief operating officer and co-founder. Earlier, Bruce served as a consultant to leading Web services integrator iXL Holdings as part of its iXL Ventures group. From the late 1980s through mid-1990s he served as director and executive vice president, sales and marketing, at VideoFax Systems, a marketing technology company he co-founded focused on place-based media. He began his career at Kidder Peabody as manager of international telecommunications.

    Bruce received a B.A. in history and international relations from the University of Pennsylvania with corresponding coursework at the Wharton School in management and marketing.

    About Direct Marketing Club of New York
    The Direct Marketing Club of New York (http://www.dmcny.org) has served the direct marketing field since its founding in 1926 – and today encompasses all facets of integrated data-driven marketing across all media categories. Serving the Greater New York region through its luncheons, networking and website, DMCNY is a leading source of current education and information in the field of measurable marketing.  DMCNY also provides substantial financial support in the form of scholarships to New York City colleges and universities where direct and interactive marketing are taught.

  • DMA San Diego - Save $500 on registration

    DMCNY is a strategic partner of the DMA and we have crafted a great deal for you for the annual conference held in San Diego October 25 to October 30.  The great news is that anyone affiliated with our club gets a $500 discount on registration.  Go to dma14.org and enter this code: AN704

    Tell your boss why you and your colleagues need to attend DMA2014 in San Diego.  You might want to stress real benefits like…

    • “DMA2014 gives me a 360° view of all the very latest and most effective marketing trends and tactic—social, mobile, search, retargeting, email, analytics, cutting-edge mail, creative – everything we need to ignite our customer engagement… how can we not go??”
    • “You keep asking us about social this, integrate that.  Here’s our opportunity to learn what the market – and our competitors – are doing!”
    • “I’ll be back with so much ammunition – the latest marketing tactics and strategies. I’ll be making you look good in no time”
    • “Timing is perfect.  Budgets and plans are due soon after for 2015—and I’ll be fresh with new ideas from DMA2014 to improve the bottom line.”
  • B2B Email Best Practices

    Issue: 

    May, 2014

    The ad tech industry is abuzz with emerging technologies and new techniques, but email marketing remains one of the most important tools in the B2B marketer’s toolbox. The cornerstone of today’s business communications, email goes out at the rate of over 122 billion messages every hour, and 68 percent of marketers say that email marketing is vital to their business. 

    That said, email marketing in 2014 is not the same as it was in the ‘90s. Here are current best practices for B2B marketers looking to leverage email for customer engagement, acquisition, retention, CRM and more. 

    Make subject lines count. The subject line is the very first interaction your customers have with your message, so craft it carefully to encourage them to actually open the email. It should be short, benefits-driven and compelling. Self-service email provider MailChimp recommends 50 characters or less, and—though your grade school composition teacher may cringe—don’t waste valuable space on unnecessary punctuation. We’ve also found that capitalizing the important words lifts engagement, and that recipients are 22 percent more likely to open emails addressed to them by name. 

    Content is (obviously) key. This may sound like a no-brainer, but your email’s content should also adhere to certain best practices. Keep it clear and concise. Also be sure that it actually delivers on the promise of the subject line. And keep the salesy stuff out of it. It’s a marketing message, but don’t beat users over the head. Don’t focus only on yourself; asking questions within the body of the email message has been shown to boost customer interest and click-through rates. 

    Go with eye-catching creative. This also sounds obvious, but many B2B marketers eschew color and design elements in favor of a more “professional looking” black and white, text-heavy message when, actually, a little color goes a long way toward capturing interest and driving action. We don’t recommend neon green letters and flashing banners, but we’ve found that orange and red are colors that pop, especially for Call To Action buttons. Also, those buttons are more likely to get clicked if they are placed either at the beginning of the message, the end, or both.  

    Test, test, test. Who cares how beautiful or compelling the email is if it never actually makes it to the inbox? Be sure to regularly test delivery rates to avoid getting stuck in spam filters, which can be even stricter for some corporate domains. Also, regularly conduct A/B testing to optimize campaign performance and surface any issues.

    Go mobile. Your B2B prospects are doing business on their smartphones and tablets, so if your design isn’t optimized for mobile and responsive to action via mobile devices, you’re way behind the curve. This is no longer optional. 

    Email is still one of the most effective ways to engage on a one-to-one basis with B2B customers and prospects, but it is important to understand how your B2B audiences use and respond to email in general in order to actually begin that dialogue and maintain it over the lifecycle of that customer. Keep your communications concise, benefit-oriented, eye-catching and device-agnostic and you’re sure to reap the rewards of this tried and true channel. 

    Author: 

    Erik Matlick
    Erik Matlick's picture

    Erik Matlick guides corporate strategy and vision as CEO at Madison Logic.  Reach him at erik@madisonlogic.com

  • Direct Marketing Club of New York Announces 30th Silver Apple Award Honorees in 2014

    Direct and Interactive Marketing Leaders Share Honors at Annual Gala on Thursday Evening, November 6, 2014, at New York’s Edison Ballroom, Times Square

     

    NEW YORK, August 21, 2014 – The Direct Marketing Club of New York (www.dmcny.org) announced today the recipients of its 2014 Silver Apple Awards, now in its 30th year. The Silver Apples recognize individuals and organizations for outstanding contributions to the growth and practice of direct and interactive marketing, during a career spanning at least 25 years. A gala to celebrate honorees – the premiere event of DMCNY’s full slate of programming, professional development and networking activities – will be held Thursday evening, November 6, at New York’s Edison Ballroom. 

    The Silver Apple 2014 honorees include:

    • Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Chairman & CEO, OgilvyOne Worldwide
    • Tim Kennon, President, McVicker & Higginbotham
    • Pam Larrick, CEO, Javelin Marketing Group
    • Tim Litle, Founder & Chairman, Litle & Company
    • Lon Mandel, President, SMS Marketing Services
    • Debbie Roth, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Japs-Olson Company
    • Dawn Zier, President and CEO, Nutrisystem
    • Corporrate:  Fosina Marketing Group (Danbury Ct)

    "These individuals and our corporate honoree represent what’s best-of-the-best in our field," said DMCNY Club President Pam Haas. "Dynamism, professionalism, marketing prowess and giving back – Silver Apple honorees truly are ambassadors for our discipline of integrated marketing. This being our Silver Apples’ 30th anniversary, we know it’s going to be an exciting event with a great turnout – and to honor these individuals and organization recipient in this way, it shows the camaraderie that lives throughout our community. The honorees are joining an elite group of direct and digital visionaries, many of whom will be in attendance.”

    The 2014 Silver Apple recipients were chosen by the Club’s past presidents. The recipients must have at least 25 years’ experience in the business, a commitment to volunteerism and leadership, and a record of vital contributions to the growth of the industry.

    This year’s event marks the 30th anniversary of the award, and a special gala will be held in Manhattan’s Edison Ballroom, at 240 West 47th Street near Times Square in New York on Thursday, November 6, 2014, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. ET.  Registration is available at http://dmcny.org/event/nov2014_Silver_Apple_Gala

    Since 1985, a total of 220 individuals and 18 companies have received DMCNY Silver Apples honors – with this year’s seven individuals and one corporation set to join this group.

    Each year, the Silver Apple Award event also serves as a key fundraising event to support New York-area programs and scholarships for college-level educational curricula and content in direct and interactive marketing. Ticket sales are underway and space will be limited to 30 tables. For pricing and availability contact Stuart Boysen, executive director, DMCNY, at stuboysen@earthlink.net, (516)746-6700; or Chris Montana at cmontana@liftengine.com or 845-627-6600, ext. 216.

    A full listing of winners’ biographies is available here: http://dmcny.org/basic/2014SilverAppleBios

    About Direct Marketing Club of New York
    The Direct Marketing Club of New York (http://www.dmcny.org) has served the direct marketing field since its founding in 1926 – and today encompasses all facets of integrated data-driven marketing across all media categories. Serving the Greater New York region through its luncheons, networking and website, DMCNY is a leading source of current education and information in the field of measurable marketing.  DMCNY also provides substantial financial support in the form of scholarships to New York City colleges and universities where direct and interactive marketing are taught.



  • What You Need to Know About DRTV Today

    Issue: 

    February, 2014

    Today, $150 billion of consumer products in the U.S. are sold through DRTV, and between 20% and 40% of TV households buy from DRTV.
     

    1.    So, what is DRTV? And what's the difference between DRTV and regular TV? 

    Direct response television is a form of marketing used to generate responses from prospective consumers, as a direct result of the marketing campaign. DRTV is often broken down into three subcategories: lead generation, product direct sales, or service direct sales. The difference between DRTV and traditional TV is as simple as a URL or 1-800 number. Media that has been designated DR based on the presence of a URL or 1-800 number can be purchased at a discount, versus standard TV advertising (brand advertising), thus ensuring media efficiencies. On average, DR prices are 30-50% lower.
     

    2.    Who uses DRTV? 

    Chances are you've seen the old “yell-and-sell” infomercials, with pitchmen like Billy Mays, but those days have passed, and DRTV has taken on an entirely new tone. Today, it's used by more brands than you probably realize: Estee Lauder, American Express, L'Oreal, Bose, KitchenAid, Capital One, Hanes, Keurig, Vanity Fair, Dyson, Garnier, Fab, Travelocity, Playtex, ShoeDazzle, Maybelline, and many more.
     

    3.    Why DRTV? 

    Direct response television is a highly effective customer acquisition medium that offers broad exposure to build your brand while driving response and measurable sales. Tracking and measuring performance can be drilled down to the level of individual airings, allowing brands to cost effectively reach a segmented audience based on daypart, channel, location, or type of programming.
     

    4.    What should I know before considering DRTV?

    Step one is getting to know your customers and their journey. It is mission critical to know where your customers spend, what they watch, and how they are influenced by various media: print, radio, TV, direct mail, out-of-home, mobile, and social. Use data-driven insight, research tools, and emerging technology to create a holistic view of your consumer. Recognize that the overarching goal of DRTV campaigns is to either push continuity programs or drive to retail—or a combination of the two. Not only are these the areas that hold the greatest potential for profit, they are crucial to developing a business model that remains effective at scale.  
     

    5.    Give me a few hints! What are the keys to success?

    One major key to success is creating a seamless customer experience between TV, online, and retail, by streamlining messaging, creative, and in-store signage. To do so, you must surround customers with relevant messaging to ensure a frictionless path to purchase. In addition, establish metrics and benchmarks that ensure a clear line of sight to success. Savvy marketers will consistently test their campaigns to not only mitigate risk but constantly optimize campaigns to drive the highest possible level of ROI, retail impact, and scalability. 

    Author: 

    Monica Smith
    Monica Smith's picture

    Monica C. Smith is founder and CEO of Marketsmith, Inc., and a recent luncheon speaker at DMCNY.  Reach her at msmith@marketsmithinc.com

  • Pre-testing: A Better Way to Beat the Control

    Issue: 

    February, 2014

    The A/B split test is as fundamentally sound, as it is slow, expensive and inefficient. 

    Direct mail testing—even for high-volume mailers—means putting a finite number of possible tests in market.  These tests are either incremental changes or wholesale redesigns.  The former usually assures incremental gain/loss, and the latter requires a lot of risk and reputational capital.    

    Truth is, the vast majority of tests fail.  For two reasons.   
     
    1)   The control is hard to beat.  It benefits immensely from something your test package can never have—exposure.  Your target audience, however large, is still finite.  You mail the same people over and over.  Even non-buyers are exposed to the control. 
     

    2)   Coming up with a test, or 10 tests or 100, for a single campaign is like searching for a needle in the haystack.  The number of possible test packages is infinite, and you are forced to choose an imperceptibly small percentage of them to mail.    

    In split testing, the odds are against you.  With a complete redesign, the odds are even more onerous.  The A/B test will tell you if the new package test wins or not.  But it cannot tell you why.  Perhaps there are components within the complete redesign that are clear winners, but are getting drowned out by the weaker elements.  

    So, what is a better alternative?  Look no further than the consumer package goods industry for an idea.  CPG marketer do lots of in-market testing, also lots of product development work in advance.  By comparison, the direct marketing world does very little. 

    The methodology now available to direct marketers is sophisticated, but simple and intuitive.  In short, It is an online testing program through which your target audience evaluates thousands of different direct mail package ideas in mere minutes.  

    The secret to its success, and why this pre-testing matches up with live test results so well, is the ability to replicate real-world choice and decision making by:

    1-  Showing the target audience concepts, packages or offers holistically, just as they view them home. 

    2-  Asking the target audience answer one question—overall preference—within a few seconds, the same amount of time you get before your package is thrown in the trash.  

    Behind the scenes is very sophisticated statistical modeling to answer the question we really want to know, which is Why?  You end up with scores for every single test element, which may encompass 30 or 40 different component parts of a direct mail package (OE, letter, buck slip, reply form) and, in turn, thousands of package combinations.  

    The business upside is four fold:  
    - Test exponentially more ideas in a radically shorter period of time.
    -   Put fewer tests in the mail, and at higher volume, to get to rollout faster.
    -    Find out exactly what impact each component has on preference and response.  
    -  Test big ideas, those that would never make it in the mail unless you have empirical proof they can work, in a low cost, low risk environment. 

    A/B split testing method has been around for decades, and yet direct marketing has changed dramatically, with more channels, better targeting, better production methods and now, a better way to beat the control.


    Author: 

    Chris Locker
    Chris Locker's picture

    Chris Locker is EVP of marketing and strategy at The Consumer Voice, in the Minneapolis area.  Reach him at clocker@theconsumervoice.net.

  • Get your summer on at the DMCNY networking social. Catch up with your colleagues at Hurley’s on July 22. Sandals not required.

    You know it’ll be fun…

    Come rub a few suntanned elbows with us at our next get-together on Tuesday July 22 from 6pm – 9pm. Hurley’s is putting out a great spread of hot appetizers, plus you get one free drink to get the party started.

    And here's an offer you can't refuse – register yourself and bring one or more clients for free. Once you register, send Stu Boysen (stuboysen@earthlink.net) the name, company and email address of your client guest(s). Stu will register them for free and they'll also get a free drink.

    $25 for DMCNY Members. $35 at the door or for non-members. So sign up today at dmcny.org.

    Bring your business cards and your best summery smile.
    See you there! 

    *NOTE: venue is not handicap accessible

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 6:00pm
    6:00pm - 9:00pm

    Member Price: 

    $25

    Non-Member Price: 

    $35
  • Your Email Reputation Depends on These Top 10 Must-Knows

    Issue: 

    February, 2014

    Email marketing is still a top priority for marketers who seek leverage in their ability to target customers with relevant offers. But it’s very concerning when you realize 20% of emails don’t make it to the consumer’s inbox, according to data from ReturnPath.

    Getting delivered requires some due diligence and care, but it also means giving consumers what they want. Web mail providers pay attention when consumers flag an email as spam, and when they leave the email unopened.  Here are the 10 ways to improve your email marketing:

    1.       Email Append, Direct:  Today, it’s a risky move to append email addresses to your database and then email those customers without an opt-in. Many email service providers will not allow their customers to use this method, because it can hurt the sender reputation.

    2.      Email Append, Indirect:  Appending your list to a third party list and emailing customers through the third party is still okay—on the surface. However, it’s highly recommended that you use a positive opt-in method, requiring the customer to click on a link and give their permission.

    3.       Email Change of Address (ECOA): This service, which is not recommended, provides a new email address if old one is no longer working.  While the majority of consumers have more than one email address, it’s important to remember that email permission is based on a particular email address, not a customer record. When the email address goes bad, so does your permission.

    4.      Cleansing: Take a hard look at your list.  Remove those hard bounces and any soft bounces that have occured a few times. When you send emails to bad addresses again and again, it hurts your reputation, wastes your money and impacts your ROI.

    5.       Filter Out Inactives:  Consider only communicating with customers who have engaged (via opens or clicks, for example) with you in the past 90 days This keeps your list fresh, improves your metrics and mitigates any deliverability impact of using old addresses.

    6.      Email Verification of Address (EVOA):  Use EVOA to verify that email addresses are correct.   Give your subscriber an opportunity to fix them, in real-time if possible.

    7.       Organic Acquisition:  Look across your customer’s touch points with your brand and find opportunities to offer an opt-in. Look at web sites, social networks or even in-store locations. Build your list with customers who indicate that they want to receive your messages, to ensure relevancy.

    8.      Preference Center:  Create a preference center to give subscribers the ability to change their frequency, channel or content types.  Put them in control of the message.

    9.      Monitor Delivery:  Watch your email’s performance, by campaign and in aggregate. Watch for trends that indicate emails are not being delivered—and act quickly. 

    10.   Mobile:  As more consumers move toward mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, leverage mobile-aware emails to ensure relevancy based on the device they are viewed on, as well as the content they deliver.

    Remember that your subscribers are interested in your message, but it’s easy to lose their love. Relevant messages that matter will keep them opening and clicking, and will help you maintain a good email sender reputation—in a world where reputation is everything.

    Author: 

    Jeanette Kocsis
    Jeanette Kocsis's picture

    Jeannette Kocsis is  EVP, digital engagement, at the Agency Inside Harte-Hanks. Reach her at jeannette_kocsis@harte-hanks.com

  • 14 Call-To-Action Tips to Boost Response

    Issue: 

    May, 2013

    Think about the Call to Action (CTs) as an advertisement for your offer. CTAs are an effective tool to drive traffic to your landing page and increase conversion rates. Creating persuasive, powerful calls to action isn't easy, but here are some tips and practices that you can test.

    1.       Use value-laden and actionable copy such as “Download Now,” “Get Your Free Trial” or “Speak to an Expert.”  Your copy objective is to get to the point and create trust, urgency and value.

    2.       Use a CTA only to offer something of real value to your visitor. CTAs should not be used for branding.

    3.       Adding the specific offer in the CTA makes it stronger. For example: “Subscribe Now and Save 80%,” which is better than just “Subscribe Now.”

    4.       Place CTAs above the fold and along the visitor’s eye path.

    5.       Use bold, contrasting colors in your CTAs so they don’t blend into the content.

    6.       Make your CTA one of the bigger, more prominent objects on a page.

    7.       Design the CTA to resemble a button, by adding bevels, shadows, and hover effects.

    8.       Make your CTA stand out by surrounding it with plenty of white space.

    9.       Link your CTAs to a dedicated landing page, not your home page.

    10.   Too many CTAs will distract your visitors. A CTA is meant to direct visitors to a specific course of action, so limit yourself to a primary CTA and possibly a secondary CTA only.

    11.   Experiment with and test your CTAs to know what design, copy and placement works best.

    12.   Add keyword-rich ALT tags so your CTA adds search value to the page.

    13.   Mobile optimize your CTAs so any device can see them. 

    14.   Personalization is a good way to improve your CTA’s effectiveness. Create different CTAs for different personas. 

    Author: 

    Brian Snider
    Brian Snider's picture

    Brian Snider is president of The GRI Marketing Group, Inc., and past president of DMCNY.  Reach him at bsnider@gridirect.com

  • Bill Baird's picture

    May 2014 Luncheon Summary

    The Cross-Device Manifesto
    Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 11:30am
    Presenter: Kurt Hawks, GM – Mobile, Conversant, Inc.

    The first half of this presentation focused on statistics about cross-platform consumer behavior.  The second half focused on strategic and tactical logistics. 

    Cross-platform (or cross-device) technology refers to consumers’ use of multiple devices to conduct an activity, either simultaneously or in sequence.  In the world of commerce, it occurs when a task is begun on one platform (for example, using a smart phone to research a purchase), and then continued on another (for example, completing that purchase on a desktop PC).   

    The biggest game-changer, the one device which has single-handedly driven cross-platform marketing to the top of every CMO’s strategic planning checklist, has been the smartphone (i.e. a cell phone with access to the internet through a web-enabled browser.)

    HOW DO CONSUMERS USE THEIR SMARTPHONES? 
    -  25% of smartphone users utilize mobile as their sole source to the Internet
    -  14 hours a day the average consumer keeps their phone within arm’s reach
    -  78% use their Smartphone for help with shopping
    -  40% of all Black Friday traffic on retail sites was from smartphones
    -  3 connected devices are utilized by the average user
    -  41 apps are downloaded on the average smartphone

    HOW HAVE USAGE AND GROWTH SHIFTED?
    -  Tablets have one of the fastest adoption rates in history
       (penetration from 10% to 42% in four years)
    -  Primary growth in digital device usage is now in Mobile & Tablet (not PC’s)
    -  Average daily time spent with mobile devices is now greater than the PC
    -  Time spent with smartphone apps is 4x-5x that of smartphone browsers

    CONSUMERS TAKE A MULTI-PLATFORM PATH TO A SALE 
    -  67% of users start shopping on 1 device and complete the sale on another 

    MANAGING OLD MEDIA VS. NEW MEDIA
    The old media approach was to manage platforms as individual silos, with each one having its own budget, metrics and delivery by device.  This results in poor visibility into cross-platform behavior. 

    The cross-platform approach is to use holistic planning and common metrics, including cross-channel interplay, in order to understand the buyer’s purchase journey across all channels.  This enables analytics to be applied to properly identify platform attribution for revenue and expense budgeting.
     

    Respectfully submitted 
    Bill Baird 
    www.bairdmarketing.com 

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