Understanding Eye Flow and Avoiding The Corner of Death

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I just recently started following the Neuromarketing blog and wanted to share a really interesting article they just posted in today’s issue.

It’s called “Avoid the Corner of Death!,” and it is greatness. Below, I’ve copy/pasted their article, including the most interesting part: The eye flow chart.

Understanding this is critical, especially for landing page optimization purposes, and tells me that if you’re placing your most important information (a video, an ask, etc.) on the upper-right hand corner of a two-column landing page layout, that you’re putting your most important information at the last place in which this eyeflow chart ends.

More over, anything in the bottom-right corner is squarely in the “Corner of Death,” and will be overlooked by your audience. Avoid this at all costs.

Here’s the rest of the article:

What’s the worst place to put your logo, and where do advertisers most often put their logo in print ads, TV spots, and direct mail pieces? The answer is the same: the lower right corner, an area dubbed the “Corner of Death” by facial coding expert Dan Hill.

Hill’s comments stem from an interesting eyetracking study by Steve Outing and Laura Rule, reported in The Best of Eyetrack III. This illustration shows a composite average of how people scan a typical web page:

 

Corner of Death

Understanding eye flow & how visitors view your web page, website, email, or print piece and where you should (and more importantly should NOT) place your most important information.

Outing and Rule caution against taking this exact path too seriously, as variations in layout will cause differences in how people scan the page. The skull graphic wasn’t part of Outing and Rule’s report, but rather inspired by a similar image in Hill’s new book, About Face.

In an recent article, Hill says:

If we take print ads as an example, you’ve got 1.7 seconds of average viewing time, per reader. And the lower right-hand corner is typically the second to last place people look on a page. (What’s even worse in terms of timing, along the upper right edge, i.e., the alley of death.) What you don’t see, you don’t get. [From Mediapost – The 6 Secrets of Eye-tracking by Dan Hill.]

Despite these findings, the lower right corner is by far the most common single location for the primary logo/brand identity use in all types of advertising, according to Hill.

So based on eye-tracking research, where should the logo or brand identity be placed so that consumers actually see it? Hill says that the best place is the lower middle part of the page or layout, At that point, the viewer will have engaged emotionally with the leading part of the ad, and will then have the opportunity to associate the brand with solving a problem or satisfying consumers’ wants.

I hope you enjoyed.

— GC

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How to install Google Analytics on your Facebook Fan Page

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Browsing through the far reaches of the internet for some interesting ideas for tracking Facebook Fan Page statistics led me to fall upon a very cool blog that walked through how to install and setup Google Analytics tracking on your Facebook Fan Page.

Below is the article, originally posted here.

We launched our Facebook fan page earlier this month and as with all Facebook pages only Facebook Insights program is available to page administrators. Facebook Insights shows demographic details and interactions on your pages BUT limited to show information of fans only. It is far less sophisticated and comprehensive when compared to the free Google Analytics. One of the limitations of Facebook Fan pages is that you can only run limited Javascript on it and Google Analytics needs Javascript code included to correctly track visitors. We have successfully managed to get ALL functions of Google Analytics working on our Facebook fan page (including visitor statistics, traffic sources, visitor country, keyword searches with all other powerful reporting & maps overlays etc).

Google Analytics Example

Google Analytics Example

How to setup Google Analytics on your Facebook fan pages

The workaround we use in our code is to include Google Analytics as an image instead of setting the standard Javascript. This method tracks every visitor to the custom Facebook pages on Google Analytics. It required a combination of server side cookie management and an additional <img> tag to the bottom of the Facebook fan page. Here are the steps to get Google Analytics working on your Facebook fan page.

1) Setup Google Analytics account. If you already have one, create a new website profile. You can name it Facebook.com or Facebook.com/your_page_name. You will finally get your tracking code which looks like this UA-3123123-2

2) Create your custom image tag for each of your pages you like to track. EG: contact form, services, products etc. You can use our tool to create the Google Analytics link generator for Facebook pages.

3) Add the entire custom image html tag from step 2 to the bottom of each Facebook fan page that you need to track.

That is all there is to it! Google Analytics is not real-time, so you will need to give it some time. Approximately a day before you see the fruits of your “hard” work.

For advanced users

Use this method, if you don’t want to use our hosted link redirection as mentioned in the method above. You can download the entire source code which is just about three files to get this setup working on your own server (running PHP4.3 or above). The code is written in PHP and essentially creates the Google image tracking URL with the referrer, page information, ID, etc. The additional advantage of hosting this on your own server and domain is that visits from your website to your facebook fan page gets tracked, etc. You will also be able to customise further if you wish. Please do share any useful updates you apply to the tracking link code.

Facebook – Google Analytics Tracker v1.1 (Updated 21st Feb, 2010). For advanced method – Download this code to use on your server.

If you don’t have a Facebook fan page yet, visit our tutorial for code and help on creating customised Facebook fan pages.

PS: We could not find any other source / blog that described how to get Google Analytics on Facebook fan pages! There is support for canvas pages and applications but nothing for StaticFBML fan pages. Hope this helps and please leave your comments below.

UPDATE:

1) You can definitely track visits on your Facebook page Wall as well. You will have to create a new static FBML box and place the img tag html code in it. To see this in action, Go to our fan page wall, you will see a box on the lower left called Articles which has a Google Analytics tracking code.

After you create your new StaticFBML, go back to edit your fan page. Under Application Settings for the entry you created, you can remove tab and add a box. Once a box is added it will be displayed under the Boxes section. All you have to do is to click on the little edit icon and select “Move to Wall”.

Doing the above will place your tracking code into the wall page and you will be able to track users on your fan page wall! Its easier than I made it look. Give it a go!

2) Here is a screenshot to a staticFBML where the code should be placed

I hope you make this actionable. Tracking within Facebook has always been relatively underdeveloped, so any additional information and insight you can glean from how Facebook users interact with your brand will give you an opportunity to truly evaluate your social media program, as opposed to making “educated guesses”.

All the best,

— GC

How can I get better results from my banner advertising campaign?

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Banner Advertising

When it comes to launching a successful banner advertising campaign, you need all the help you can get. Here are 8 items that will help you to mitigate your failure rate and increase your chance of success.

I always find it funny that most people I talk to about banner advertisements still think that they don’t work. Whether or not a banner advertisement “works” depends upon what your objective is related to that advertisement to begin with.

As covered in a previous post (“What is the difference between marketing and advertising”), most online marketing efforts are measured specifically by return on investment (ROI). When it comes to advertising, you have to measure its success based upon how it lifts your direct response marketing channels (email, search, radio, etc).

Take a look at my other post titled “The reason why you should continue using banner ads, even if the ROI isn’t there” to get a better understanding of how you should set your expectations regarding ROI on advertising channels, OK?

For those that “get” the value of banner advertisements, let’s take a look at an 8-point list of items that will help your banner advertising campaign be successful.

  1. Set campaign goals
    Any successful campaign will start with the goals and work backwards from there. Define the purpose of the banner ad campaign before starting on your creative, etc. If your message is built to increase sales, the odds are that it will vary greatly from one that is looking to increase brand awareness/recognition.
  2. Placement environment
    Although some research I’ve seen shows that animated banner ads can receive upwards of 2 or 3 times the number of clickthroughs, they are often limited by channel type. For instance, a static (non-moving) banner can be placed in an RSS feed, email newsletters/campaigns, etc, where the animated banner cannot be displayed in such an environment. By understanding the website’s native creative style and designing your advertisement to appear as content that BELONGS with that website as a piece of valuable content will always outperform some annoying banner advertisement with a flashing button.
  3. Call to action
    This might be the biggest mistake that most advertisers run into when they concept and implement a banner campaign. Don’t forget your call to action … if you don’t ask someone to take a step, why would they? Well, they might, but let’s drive them to click, OK?
  4. Visual appearance
    As previously discussed, camouflaging your advertisement as a piece of native content will work well, but if you can’t do that then lean on brighter color schemes. Stay within your brand guidelines, but know that it’s a natural instinct to overlook banner advertising as the web continues to age and become more commonplace with younger generations. You want to stand out from the content … get noticed with flashy colors.
  5. Messaging
    Keep the message simple, short and focused. Don’t provide multiple calls to action, or too much text. Just provide a simple message that when an audience member views, they can quickly determine to learn more and clickthrough to your landing page. Which brings us to …
  6. Landing page
    Don’t send visitors to your website with navigation to the rest of your website. When you have a fish on the line, it’s like setting down your poll and being content with the fact that you got a nibble. Real that sucker in! By mitigating the chance of failure (by setting up a single page, with clear selling value propositions and a conversion point, like a easy-to-fill out form), you substantially increase your chance at converting that person into a customer/donor. It’s important to note that minimizing friction/anxiety factors (like the length of your form, the design of your page, the copy being too long, etc.) – you can massively increase your conversion rate. If you’re trying to get people to opt-in to receive your email newsletter on your landing page – don’t ask them for their social security number, or mailing address. Some prospective customers would argue with me that this is critical information to have on their file, but you can have a strategy in place to collect that information later. Capture their interest now, engage later, move on.
  7. Content Freshness
    Refresh banner ads regularly. Some studies that I’ve reviewed have indicated that clickthrough rates of banner ads start to drop off after 2-3 weeks. Refresh your creative to provide a new fresh look and feel (even if your message is the same). This does two things: (1) appears new to the audience again, thereby giving them a psychological incentive to clickthrough to investigate (even if it is again), and (2) depending on the network, give your advertisements a higher level of priority in the server’s queue of ads to display (especially in a cost-per-click/CPC model). If you’re not getting clicks, ad networks will eventually stop serving your ads and will cut off your traffic.
  8. Testing and tracking
    Data/Analytics > Marketer’s Intuition. Whenever someone says, “I think that ___________”, my almost immediate rebuttal is “Let’s test it!” Look, nobody is a mind reader, especially not through a banner advertisement … so, build a couple of different types of content (which would be your experiment’s “treatment”) and serve it on the same network, at the same days/times, with the same budget setup (which will act as your “control”), and let it rip. Evaluate for at least 5-7 days, and then move forward with the better performing creative set and cut the under performing one. Do it again if you’d like against a third, forth, etc., etc. number of creative sets until you’ve got the absolute best performing ad creative/message. This is your business, make it work for you!

As Peter Drucker (and as repeated by Dr. Flint McGlaughlin from Marketing Experiments) once said:

“Adequacy is the enemy of excellence.”

Always strive for better things for you/your business and you will always be better than when you started.

I hope this helps in setting up your next banner advertising campaign – remember always to track your results (remember my credo, which is “If you can’t track it, don’t do it!”). Track it by medium (banner), or by individual sources (they websites in which your ads were served) to segment, optimize and re-prioritize moving forward.

All the best,

— GC

How can we customize our Facebook Fan Page to insert a call to action?

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I recently read a case study that showed how a large non profit organization leveraged a custom home page on their Facebook Fan Page to insert multiple calls to action for those visiting their page, including “signing a petition”, “liking” the fan page itself, or “give a gift”.

Of course, the campaign was highly relevant to some state legislation that was going to cut funding for the nonprofit, so there was a clear cause, message and goal in terms of raising the funds.

The campaign, when coupled with direct response channels (like email, direct mail and search marketing) ended up generating $950,000.00 over the course of several weeks. The Facebook Fan Page helped spread the message across the social network and generated (1) brand awareness, (2) cause awareness and (3) new donor dollars.

In doing some investigation on how to build custom home pages on your Facebook Fan Page to include a “call to action” for your marketing campaign, I found an article from Mashable that gives you a great step-by-step walk through on how to get one setup, which I’ll gladly regurgitate here.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Add the Static FBML App
    The tabs at the top of your Facebook Fan Page are apps. Some, like your wall and photos are built into Facebook. Others are essentially plug-ins where fans can view external content, like YouTube videos, Flickr photos, etc.The app you need for your custom page is called “Static FBML,” located here. If you’re logged into Facebook, you can add it to your Page. It is essentially a blank canvas where you can add whatever content you want, including custom graphics and links via standard HTML.

  2. Set Up Your Tab
    Once you’ve added the Static FBML app, click “Edit Page” below your company’s profile image. This will bring up all your settings and apps. Look for the FBML app and click the “Application Settings” link.

    The app can function in two ways: As a set of boxes, or as one dedicated profile tab. If you’re building a splash page, you’ll probably want to use it as a tab, so go ahead and make sure that the “Box” setting is removed, and the “Tab” setting is added. You can always experiment with boxes later if you find them more useful.

  3. Add Your Content
    Once you’re in tab mode, go back to your settings and click the “Edit” link under the Static FBML app. This opens a standard text field where you can add your content.

    “Box Title” will be the name of your tab, so you’ll want to change it to something appropriate, like “This Week’s Deals,” “Special Offers,” or simply “Welcome,” depending on how you plan to use your Page.

    The main text field is where your content goes, and you can add standard HTML to the page as you would any website, including images, text, links, and other formatting. No need for HTML, BODY, or HEAD tags.

    Note that your images must be hosted elsewhere (on your company’s website, for example) and only referenced in your HTML code.

  4. Make It the Default Landing Page
    If you want this new tab to be the “face” of your business Fan Page, head back over to your page settings and edit your “Wall Settings.” There is an option for “Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else.” From that menu, select your new tab.


    From now on, it will be the first thing visitors see when they arrive.

  5. Engage Further With FBML
    FBML stands for Facebook Markup Language, and it is the code used in Facebook applications to reference items on the social network, like user profiles, groups, feeds, and other data. If you’re really looking to integrate your landing page and get interactive with visitors, it might be worthwhile to learn this language.

— GC

Should our organization create a Facebook Fan Page?

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Should our organization create a Facebook Fan Page?

Recently, I was asked to compile a strategy document outlining how one of our faith-based non-profit customers could leverage a Facebook Fan Page.

They seemed on the fence as to whether or not they should build a Facebook Fan Page, so as a part of the strategy I developed, I wanted to justify the reasoning behind actually creating one. Below is the list that I compiled for them.

So, without further adieu — let’s take a look:

Ten reasons to create a Facebook Fan Page:

  1. 500MM+ global users on Facebook and counting
    With that kind of population, Facebook is essentially the 3rd largest country in the world.
  2. 100MM+ U.S. users
    American-based accounts make up 1/3 of all Facebook users worldwide.
  3. Average user spends 55 minutes per day on Facebook
    According to Facebook’s “Inside Facebook” study, nearly an hour per day, per user is the average – that’s translates to tremendous opportunity and reach.
  4. Nearly 80,000 websites are now using Facebook Connect
    According to ComScore, 50% of the world’s largest websites, and 66% of the largest US-based websites have implemented Connect, which is an integration point which allows for quick-sharing to personal profiles. This means that Facebook is positioning to become the central hub of the internet.
  5. The average Facebook user has 130 friends
    This is an indication of the tertiary level of reach that brands can connect with to position their brand and increase revenue.
  6. The average Facebook user will “Fan” 2 pages per month
    This is an indication of the likelihood in which you can attract followers, thereby extending your brand’s reach to connect with potential followers/fans of your brand that you otherwise may not have reached.
  7. Only 4% of Fan Pages have 10,000 or more fans
    In a study conducted by Sysomos where they evaluated 600,000 Facebook fan pages, they found that 4% of Fan Pages have 10,000 or more fans. This means that a strong strategy to not only collect fans, but to continue to engage with them consistently and provide them compelling reasons to return.
  8. Customized news feed
    A recent modification to the news feed algorithm that Facebook uses modifies the way in which news is displayed to Facebook visitors. The algorithm will now prioritize content updates to a higher level if visitors have interacted with that person/brand’s updates in the past. This puts a priority upon providing relevant and consistent content.
  9. Wall posts do not impact popularity
    The same Sysomos study showed that frequent wall posts did not positively impact the number of fans collected as much as additional content (pictures, videos, notes, etc.) did. This bodes well for your organization to engage consistently with potential followers.
  10. Real-time search changes have been made
    Facebook has opened their unprotected content/updates to be made available for search engines to index it for display. Google/Bing have already begun including Facebook updates in their results pages, which means that having a Facebook Fan Page will positively impact your organic search efforts moving forward.

I hope this makes you consider why you should create a Facebook Fan Page, but odds are that you already have one in place. Of course, the real intellectual capital in the strategy was centered around how they could use that to identify the following items:

  • Advocacy programs
  • Extended reach
  • Identifying new donors
  • Name acquisition campaigns
  • Collecting new donations

If you need assistance in crafting a customized strategy around how you can do these types of things with your Facebook Fan Page — drop me a note & I’d be more than happy to help.

— GC

The reason why you should continue using banner ads, even if the ROI isn’t there.

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The reason why you should continue using banner ads, even if the ROI isn’t there.

Advertising is not a direct response channel, but it can provide a significant lift to direct response marketing efforts when it is added to your overall mix of activities. Trust me, you're not throwing your money away when you advertise online.

If you’re like me, you’ve just wrapped up a great Independence Day break and you’re rolling up your sleeves in an attempt to put your nose to the grindstone. Don’t you just love 4-day work weeks? It makes everything seem to fly by, which is not necessarily a good thing.

After all, there are organizations out there that need help in their fund raising efforts — and the Strategist has been hammering away all week. I apologize for missing my Tuesday publishing date, although I highly doubt there is anyone out there that was disappointed. 🙂

Now, let’s get on with the show, eh? As promised in last week’s blog about the difference between marketing and advertising, I mentioned that I would write this week about banner advertising on the web and why you should do it, even if you ROI is not there.

We had a meeting with a customer before the holidays and this exact question was asked in our call. “Why should we continue to use banner ads if the ROI is not there?” It’s a valid question at the surface level. In today’s economy, it’s difficult to justify expenditures that do not bring a positive return on investment, right?

Well, I challenge that line of thinking. Why?

It’s a simple answer: Advertising is not a direct response channel.

Let me say that again — Advertising is NOT a direct response channel.

A direct response channel is where you’re engaging an audience directly, on a one-to-one level to ask them to perform a specific action. Believe it or not, by slapping a “CLICK HERE NOW!!!” button on your banner, you’re not actually marketing to an audience in a direct manner.

So, what is advertising? Advertising is an indirect response channel. It’s specifically used for brand building, brand awareness and brand loyalty initiatives.

Then, why would anyone want to spend money on that? Well, you can ask one of the million+ public companies that advertise daily on television, outdoor signage, over the radio, etc. — or I can just tell you.

When it comes to advertising, it’s about a consistent, repetitive interaction with a prospective and/or existing consumer base with your brand. The more times they hear the brand, the more “trust” is built in the brand. You may disagree with this, but I would imagine that you’re far more likely to buy a product from a large national brand than you are from the local mom & pop shop that sells the same widget, at a similar price point. It’s not just because of location (which is a major factor), but it’s also about the fact that you interact with the brand nearly daily.

With online marketing tactics like email marketing bringing such clarity and bottom line results to move the needle, it’s hard to justify to others within your organization the expenditures that you’re making in other online channels that are not “generating the same types of results”.

What if I told you that you need to look at your overall marketing/advertising mix as a mathematical equation? Remember all of the way back in high school when you took algebra? Well, take a look at this algebraic formula that I use to communicate the effectiveness of a true marketing and advertising mixture:

Marketing Effectiveness = (A + B) * C

Here are the variables that I plug into this equation:

  • A = Traditional direct marketing/sales activities
    This can include things like direct mail, telesales, trade shows, etc.
  • B = Online direct marketing/sales activities
    This can include email marketing, search engine marketing, etc.
  • C = Online/Offline Advertising activities
    This is whatever you are doing to advertise on the web, on television, outdoor signage, etc.

With this mathematical equation, the “A” value is increased when combined with “B”. But both values are MULTIPLIED when “C” is introduced to the equation. Yes, online/offline advertising is an expense in most cases (and really good marketing/advertising firms can find a way to give you at least 75% of your money back with their strategies — we do it all of the time), but by in large your other marketing activities will receive a lift when advertising is in the mix.

We’re in the process of compiling some figures to back these statistics up, so bear with me while we collect that data. I’ll be sure to post an update here whenever those numbers come back.

The idea is that even if your ad is shown to a particular website visitor and that visitor does not click on the ad — that they have received a “brand impression” (this isn’t ground breaking stuff, is it?). When we marketers target and deliver a direct response message to this visitor (direct mail, email, telephone call, etc.) — then the visitor will have already had an exposure to our brand, making our jobs much easier to ask them to perform whatever our call to action is.

My boss gave me a great video to watch the other day about subliminal advertising. This one is done by Derren Brown and it’s a short 6:40 watch.

I know, I know … you’re FAR too busy to watch the video, right? Trust me, it is totally worth it, so if you don’t watch it now, bookmark it and watch it later over a lunch break or something, OK?

They won’t let me embed the video directly, so when you attempt to watch the video, you will be driven to YouTube to watch it (in a new window).

Derren Brown — Subliminal Advertising:

If you don’t believe me, does this help?

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

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I recently watched a video about communication, sales and marketing that struck me as the most influential piece of footage that I have seen in some time. The following video is simply amazing and should be digested by all marketers, regardless of the product/service they market or sell.

The Golden Circle, by Simon Sinek:

In the video, Simon talks about motivations of the human psychology – and more specifically, gives examples of tremendous successes and failures throughout history of true visionaries that have leveraged The Golden Circle to become some of the most influential people or companies in modern history. He chronicles the stories of Apple, The Wright Brothers and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Summary of The Golden Circle methodology:

The Golden Circle methodology teaches us marketers to communicate the reason “why” we do things. If you think about your marketing efforts — do they commonly focus on the “what” you do (this widget can do this, here’s what we’re doing to help people, etc.)? If so, try shifting your messaging, value propositions and brand to focus on the “why” you do it is what you do.

The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle of motivation, or in this case marketing, should be leveraged by all marketing groups across the globe. Communicating from the center to the outside is the proper way to be successful. Remember, people don't buy "what" you do, they buy "why" you do it.

Why:
The purpose of your organization, the cause you serve or your belief in how you can change the world (or business, etc). This is driving your organization’s motives and actions.

How:
These are the guiding principles of your organization. These are specific steps or actions you take to realize your “why” (or purpose).

What:
The what is a byproduct of the steps you take to fulfill your purpose. This is the tangible result of “how” you bring your “why” to life. These items could be your product or service.

Marketers deal with these three areas every day. This is not new thinking at all, is it? But what Simon teaches is to focus on the direction in which we message.

Most marketers will build their campaigns starting with the “what” and work their way into the center of The Golden Circle — which is the “why”. Worse yet, some marketers forget the “why” all together. The “why” should be communicated in every thing you do when interacting with your prospective and existing customers.

In Simon’s example of Apple, he says that if Apple were run by most marketers, that a marketing message from them would sound something like this:

What: We make great computers.
How: They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly.

… Want to buy one?

Of course, there is no “why” here — because as he says, most marketing organizations do not clearly communicate their “why”. He then outlines exactly how Apple markets and sells their wares, by outlining the following way in which they inspire, which is:

Why: Everything we do, we believe in challenging the ‘status quo’. We believe in thinking differently.
How: The way we challenge the ‘status quo’ is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly
What: We just happen to make computers.

… Want to buy one?

Clearly, the second of the two is far more motivating. It explains why people will camp outside of an Apple Store for weeks before the new iPhone is released in 100+ degree temperatures. People are inspired. People are motivated. People buy from Apple not because they make a cell phone, or a smart phone or even that they have a touch-screen phone per se.

They buy from Apple because they are inspired by what they believe. They, too, want to challenge the status quo. By buying Apple products, they feel that are different from the rest of the world. They feel that they, too, are innovative and creative.

They buy from Apple because they believe in thinking differently.

In conclusion, I would like to first thank Simon for opening my eyes with this discussion. I have now completely changed my line of thinking with regards to strategy and marketing approach. Every single marketing objective I build, develop or deploy will now be filtered through The Golden Circle moving forward.

Did it inspire you, as well?

— GC

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