Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 9 months ago

116) #ExponentialInsights: Marketing Automation: Data-Driven or Death by Data?


As marketers, all want to be more data-driven, right?

Well, it’s just as important to avoid “death by data.”

We don’t just need more data — we need better data we can use.

Today’s guest is here to help you do just that. Kristin Harrison, Director Of Business Development at Webstrategies Inc., where she is leading the data-driven, digital marketing revolution.

In this episode, we discuss:

- How a data-driven mindset leads us out of the cave of complacency

- The importance of marketing automation

- How to foster alignment between sales, marketing and the rest of your organization

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

...we can move forward with a progressive digital mindset and get out of 1955 or no longer in the DeLorean. We are moving forward and to really understanding what it means to have a deeper understanding of your user online. There are behaviors how you can meet them there and how you can really support them along the way in a more personalized nature. Mhm Yeah. Mhm mm. You're listening to banking on digital growth with James robert lay a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing sales and leadership teams to Maximize their digital growth potential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series where James robert interviews the industry's top marketing sales and fintech leaders sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show greetings and hello I am James robert, ley and welcome to the 116th episode of the Banking on Digital Growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome Kristin Harrison to the podcast. Kristen is the director of business development at web strategies, who is providing data driven digital marketing services advice and plans to convert online visitors into leads and sells for financial brands. Welcome to the show, Kristen, thank you. Thank you for having me. This is exciting. I love doing this kind of thing. Credit unions are my favorite thing and the longer I can talk about them, the happier I am, it is good to have you here and and we've got a mix of credit union listeners, community bank listeners. We've got some people from around the world we actually are and I think 120 plus countries now to a growing audience of of just financial brand marketing cells and leadership team members looking to gain clarity into the future into what's the next growth opportunity available for them to either create, capture or capitalize on. And before we go there with your area focus around digital marketing, I want to know what you're most excited about right now. What's your most energized about whether that be personally or professionally it's your pick, interesting. Well, first of all this is a very timely question. I I go over things like this all the time, so we just start leaving our leadership meeting internally. We had last thursday and friday were all day meetings and we kind of planned for the future and and then business development, anybody who knows a really good salesperson that's a really good salesperson in a data driven world, those worlds can be completely, you know, kind of siloed right? Like I I kind of do my thing and everyone else does their thing. And so when we come together and have conversations, you...

...know, I knew we were having a good year on, I understand that I understand the numbers and everything, but when I saw how the year that we were having this year lines up with the, with our three year plan that got me excited. So I can see, you know, really the forward progression we're making and how I get so juiced up with the numbers and how we can bring more people in and help them and help them understand having a good data driven digital mindset will only help them succeed, help them look good and get them new members and loans for their financial institutions. So that's really what I'm juiced up about today and also some new opportunities that we would have maybe and kind of expanding my role just a little bit. So those are the things that are top on mind right now. Well, I'm excited to hear that and I want to dive a little bit deeper into just maybe a bit of reflection. Looking back to look ahead, you know, before we hit record, we kind of talked about this, always being 2-3 years ahead of what's going on today so that we don't get run over and stuck in the cave of complacency and we're gonna talk about that. But what are you most hopeful about? What are you most hopeful about right now when it comes to financial brand, digital marketing, what are some of the biggest trends that you've seen unfold through what we're calling this Covid experience because this has been an experience and opportunity To rethink about how financial brands can target nurture, convert leads for loans and deposits. What are you most hopeful and encouraged by, from what you're seeing right now in the marketplace. I think the thing that moved me the most over the last 18 months was the amount of effort that our clients put into who they serve and helping them through that. And I think that bar none. I heard some stories that I literally was crying on the phone with some of our clients. I it was just, I think the entire world came together on the same equal playing field. Nobody knew what the next day was going to bring. Nobody knew what the heck was going on. We all literally spent of solid, probably eight months just praying to God and doing anything that we could do to help the other ones. And I think that we learned a lot. And so from that, the exciting thing is You have a whole generation of people who had never used any digital who are now 100% digital. Super exciting. You have the whole new generation coming in that won't even look at anything unless it's on the phone, doesn't know how to write a check. he doesn't even know how to address an envelope and won't mess with cash. So that's the new generation coming in and you know, they're coming together, they're meeting together. So...

...the financial institutions are responsible to pay attention to that, aren't they? We need to make sure that everyone is harnessing that and we can move forward with a progressive digital mindset and get out of 1955 or no longer in the DeLorean. We are moving forward and to really understanding what it means to have a deeper understanding of your user online. There are behaviors how you can meet them there and how you can really support them along the way in a more personalized nature. Yeah. It's putting people at the center of all of your thinking and all of your doing and using the data to make informed decisions about how to create the greatest value for them, regardless of where they're at on their own personal buying journey. And you think about buying journeys for a financial brand. There's there's multiple, there's there's that checking journey and the savings and then the credit card and then the mortgage and the personal and then all the business and the odd alone. So that's where it started I think to really for a financial market or begins to fill overwhelming because there's just so much to do. You have a lot of conversations with financial brands and what they're doing on the digital marketing front? What's the biggest problem that they're confronted with right now? What's causing them the most pain reflecting back over the last 18 months, looking at where we're at the present and where we can go from here towards the future? What's the big pain point that everyone is really kind of, talking about? Yeah, and I I think the biggest thing, it's it's really tying back to reporting, right? I think the marketer wants and knows exactly what they want, And I think, spreading and understanding that message across all channels within the institution in order to fund those things, or two for everyone to get on board, it can be a challenge. And I'm hoping that the last 18 months has shown boards and c suites that we really need to not hold ourselves back and get on board to embracing a full digital first mindset. So, I think that that's a huge challenge. I think that we still have a bunch of thought patterns in the vein of I know I need to do something differently, I just I'm not sure what that is and I know that there's more for me to do, get the feeling of throwing spaghetti at the wall and waiting for something to stick, get off that spinning wheel and really have such a clear path visitor comes in, they came from ex they're going to do why? And it cost us this much, is that gap between say look, we'll call it marketing because there's that awareness and understanding, but if you go into the other areas of a financial brand, it might be sells, it might be lending, it might be operations, it...

...might be leadership team, it might even be bored. Is that a knowledge gap? Is that an education gap? Is that a training where's the disconnect is a communication, what are you seeing from your end on this? How much time do we have? You know, I again go back to, I think departments within not only a financial institution, but really you can call it in the institution, they like what they do, they do what they do, they're responsible for that and you know, they come in at 8 30 they go home at five and I think we are way past that and again, not to put my sales hat on, but everyone needs to pick up the phone and call hubs, but and get on board with full marketing automation, you need to introduce your sales team to that, you need to introduce your ops team to that everyone needs to start working off of one platform, connecting all of your systems together so you can start to understand that the member journey is really a part of everyone. There's no one that is responsible for just one member. The one member is not there just because of marketing or the one member is not there just because of sales. There's so many people that are involved in the customer journey and unless we start looking at it on the same playing field, it's always going to be siloed that it takes a lot of work and a lot of hard conversations to get there, but you can get there. I've seen it over and over and over. That's a great point. And you mentioned hubspot um and they're my favorite because I used them. But yeah, and we've had a lot of financial brands who have utilized hubspot very successfully. Salesforce marketing, cloud marcato total expert built specifically for the industry and and we've always stayed tech agnostic because I think you're right, it does come back to the internal relationships between marketing between cells and service and banking on digital growth. I wrote about what I call the bankers strategy circle that literally connects all three of those teams together to move beyond the silo and and I want to look at some of the trends that that you just recently did a marketing survey and what you guys found web strategies was 84% of survey respondents said digital marketing had become a higher priority in the past year. And as a result of this growing importance, 66% shared that they would be increasing their digital marketing budget in 2021. Even though 57% said that their total marketing budget was going to be the same. So you mentioned reporting here and I want to hop on the other side of the table. I want to put on my my CMO hat and play like, like I'm one of these that's increasing my budget. So I'm gonna ask you, what, what do I invest in? Because there are a ton of options. There's a, it's almost too much. It's overwhelming because I want... spend my dollars wisely. I want to get a return that proves my marketing value because I am tired. I am so tired of being viewed as an internal cost center by my ceo, by my CFO. I'm tired of being known to others. Maybe it's in lending is some type of necessary evil. That's this is there to run their campaigns in the last minute, No notice or at worse. People look at my marketing team and me is just kids that play with Peyton crayon. So point me in the right direction. Where can I spend my dollars wisely? Gosh, I feel like I said a version of that sentence about a million times in my sales calls and I say it's something like, you know, a marketing person at a financial institution in one second they'll be in a think tank strategic meeting and then as they're walking out the door, somebody will stop them and say can you order my business cards for me? So the disconnect is just enormous and I think if you were really going to invest, I would love to be able to steer you and give you you know, specific answers, but it depends on some of your internal, like what your L. O. S. Platform is. But let's just say pie in the sky, you have everything that's you know, easy to work with. So you have a good site, you're on Wordpress or another good platform. Ultra prime it and make it a Tech X. Not agnostic, but you have a good site. You have a good L O S. I would definitely say that you need to implement marketing automation. The difference is anybody can get good data right? Anybody can get good data as and configure analytics that by a simple google search. But what we need to do is we need to start taking the anonymous data that google gives us and google's changing things every day. We have first and four coming out now we're going to be able to start doing app tracking and like really if you know your way around google analytics and google tag manager, you're you feel pretty good. I think the next step that needs to become as common of a conversation is you need to take the anonymous data that google is giving us and give it a name and say actually James robert came in from the facebook ad and clicked onto here and follow and you follow them all the way through. I think with the new security measures that are coming out in the in the whole IOS thing 15 14, 15. So with that coming out, I think having a good marketing automation platform will at least help us connect some of the dots. Even with that being in play, we don't really know yet because the court has been released. But when it is, I'm confident enough to say that having a good marketing automation platform will help rather than hurt. And that's a positive because we have been speaking advising, guiding coaching around marketing automation strategy since 2014 and forever. And finally, finally,...'s like coming because in your report you noted That there's been 186% increase in credit unions using marketing automation compared to last year's survey. So that's a positive trend in the right direction. I can't help but think because we're talking IOS 15 update, which is gonna really totally reshape and I'm putting together some thinking around that because marketing automation is going to be, I think a cure to some of those pain points. Just like if we're thinking about third party cookies finally crumbling and going away 2022 it's going to be that first party cookie data of what we know about people on our site. That's going to allow us to take a proactive stance in the relationship instead of waiting for someone to raise their hand and say I'm interested in an auto loan and that intention is done by the actual application. We have so much more knowledge available, buying signals exhausted. There's a lot of different terminology to use for this type of thinking, but that requires, to a degree, some type of a cultural shift, I found as well, because marketing has been, for the most part, a very reactive activity. It's almost like last minute, how might we shift that mindset internally? Because once again, if if if marketing gets this, but not others in the organization, marketing is going to continue to repeat the predictive past, which is going to create a future of frustration. Yeah, because that's where they're stuck, right? They got into a spot where people would actually agree with them and they're like fabulous. Finally, people understand, but that's still five years ago, because you're exactly right with hubspot. So, I've been here seven years, we've had hubspot the whole time. I've been here, I've really been talking to credit unions about hubspot for solidly four years and really since january to present, I can tell you I've never had more hubspot conversations with a credit union in my life. So I think it's old school marketing and sales alignment and I think that that's the cure I really do because if marketing and sales are aligned along with their ops team and along with the C suite you just can't lose and then everyone starts to understand what the other person is doing. When I started marketing and sales alignment was a huge buzz worker, and Phil Woods was the director of our digital marketing at the time, he's no longer with us. But I credit a lot of what I know to him because we really didn't take it as we took it seriously. It wasn't a buzz words he and I were going in and that's how we kind of started this credit union initiative. We just you know, we're in it and we...

...were both in it together and we, you know, we had like before we started going after credit unions, we had a handful of them. And so we went out and just did it. And here we are. And I and I looked back to the beginning and it's like, what was that? And it was marketing and sales line. And again, that is an employee that is willing needs to be willing to have tough conversations to have huge emotional intelligence, really, a lot about the industry, to be able to change the way that they do things. It can no longer be the way you've always done, keep doing that. You're not going to go forward. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now, consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch, If they walk into a branch at all, but your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits, we get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand, marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have to because James robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth Or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands and it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits now back to the show and that right there, I think is the secret to transform the way you do things requires you to transform the way you think requires to transform your belief system, which comes back to this idea of training just to gain some clarity into what the future could hold. Because I wrote this a linked in this morning, I said, uh, how well our marketing and sales getting along right now with your financial brands are your best friends? Or do you fight like my four kids, you love each other, You're on the same team, but you point fingers at each other to marketing tells lending that they're generating leads, but they're not being followed up and nurtured lending complaints to marketing. They're not generating enough leads are the right ones. So who's to blame? Doesn't matter No more finger pointing. No more fighting. The time is to come together to connect to collaborate. It's time to write a new story of Unity Marketing Plus cells equals the growth team. That's true. And what will clear all of those finger pointing issues up is a good marketing automation platform because Big Brother you can go in and look and if market marketing yeah, if marketing is to creating the lead and it's being kicked over to the sales team then guess what? It's all gonna be in there. So that's a real cure. But it's how you look at it. Right? Are you going to look at it like...'s Big Brother is watching or you're going to look at it like you're doing your job and I'm doing my job and we're all doing it out of the same tool. And it's really it's it's helping and it makes you better and it makes you stronger. But also kind I have four kids to that's probably why we get along so well because for kids yeah for Sissies you know hopefully. And quarantine I have four teenagers so Lord help us. Yours are different life stage. What are the ages of yours now? So I have an 18 year old son and I have triplet girls that are 16 0. C. O. Of triplets at 16. So we've got we've got every two years we've got 11 97 and five. And it's boy girl boy girl and the personalities and it's like back to school in august you know it's gonna be a whole different ballgame then. Uh And I think there's a lot of lessons that can be learned from this because we're all playing on the same team and it's not about Big Brother, it's about accountability, right? It's about accountability. So it's like how are we looking at it for sure. And it's about respect. It's like I tell my kids right? You know, respect is about putting the other person before you and making sure that they're taking care of it. If you're thinking about marketing and sells internally. Okay, so something falls apart. We want to come back and you and I were talking about this before we hit record, that's not failure. It's like what did we learn from that experience? I just had this conversation with my son, he made a mistake and we sat down, I said, well what did you learn from this? And it was very like objective. You know, you try to remove some of that emotion out of it because I think when he had all the emotion you mentioned emotional intelligence, it's so key. I mean that's a strategic competitive advantage I think internally and externally. But when we look at this what they commonly held belief when it comes to digital marketing that others in the industry might have. But you just disagree with. And and put it another way where might others be misguided to put put it lovely ba lovingly and kindly, where might others be misguided in their thinking and why? Gosh! I think that's such a great question. I think data's the answer because you have to have it and you have to have it to understand it. But I think I can also hurt you the most two. And um one of someone said this to me, I heard it on a call and I was like oh my God, this totally captures how I feel about the data. It's the engine. He said death by data. And I think if you don't keep a person first or the member first or the understanding first or your employees first, the marketer first, the lending person first and you just are seeped in this data, you forget the human element to all of this and then you're not going to do what you want to do, which is attract the...

...member because they are attracted to who you really are. And if the credit union or the financial institution, community Bank, your entire audience, if they want to attract new customers and they want to do it in an authentic and real way and that's pushing out who they are and how they will help you and how they will be there for you and hold your hand through all of life's stages, right from your first checking account all the way to like college loan, because I'm taking my firstborn to college. So if we're holding our hands through all of these stages, been passed through retirement, they want a human element to that and we have to make sure that we transfer that human element in the digital space. And how can we do that while utilizing the data is so important, but you can't live by it forever because then you forget what you're really trying to do in the first place. So I think it's a really, I think data and that in my role is probably I'm running kind of a fine line to that. I'm talking to you banking on digital growth. I mean digital marketing is nothing but data and it makes you better. I think the new way of thinking, I think Covid taught us, you know, we need to be a little bit more human while we're looking into the data. Well, it comes down to the formulaic approach of DX plus H X equals growth and that's the digital experience when combined with the human experience will lead to growth. And when I wrote that in the book I made a massive error. Like I forgot a key key variable in a formula like that to wear now a postcode I'm saying E X plus Hx plus dx equals growth, meaning the employee experience because when you're thinking about data like there's a lot to that will impact the employee experience because a positive employee experience will lead to a positive human experience that can be delivered through positive digital experience. And I want to come back to marketing automation because because it's a fun topic it's one that I'm personally just passionate about. It's one that I'm like I said before so thankful and grateful to see more and more financial brands finally finally start taking action on and so biggest opportunities with marketing automation because just that one word as a massive definition that sits behind it. I mean whether you're talking hubspot marquitos sells force part dot act on total expert because there's so many different nuances and variables that you can can build into this. And so if you're distill this down when you think marketing automation, What is the one biggest greatest opportunity for a financial brand to create or capture...

...through marketing automation without having to try to boil the ocean. But it's like one thing, one opportunity funded loans funded loans funded loan data because it will it will check off all of those boxes. If we can get funded loan data and you can get it with marketing automation. And if marketing automation can attach to your L. O. S. That's one way to do it. But it can also attach to your data like that's another way to do it so fond and loan information will do a lot of things. It will give you more data to your members and give you a better understanding of how you need to market to them and the tools that they have and the tools that they need. It will also give you good detailed reporting. So when you go through those meetings with you know your quarterly meetings or your monthly strategy meetings you're gonna be able to have one clear line of sight of information. You're no longer gonna piecemeal from system to system to system and you know look at spreadsheet after spreadsheet and you just want to you know throw it all away. By the time the whole thing's done you're going to have one report, one simple piece of information that will say we spent this and it made the credit union this everyone doesn't need to know what happened in between. The only thing that the board cares about is the bottom line. And so if you have a marketing automation platform and you'll have full data you can get that bottom line for the board. And that is where I think everyone needs to start thinking is like when you start thinking with the end in mind like this is what I want, this is what I need. These are the steps that we need to take to get there. So that's the one thing, if it was me, I like that and this has been such a fantastic conversation today chris and I want to get real practical here at the end with two simple recommendations that the dear listener can commit to take to take action on to move forward to make progress along just their own digital growth journey. And I call this the game of of start and stop What is one thing one action big or small. But I always like small and practical that a financial brand can start doing with their digital marketing with their data going forward. What is one thing that you would recommend that they start doing today implement cross domain tracking with analytics. Let's talk about that because that's a really important one because that's going to close a lot of data gaps from an analytics perspective because we're moving from financial brands domain over to an out third party L. O. S. And then normally it's like well where did everyone go? Like who turned out the lights and and that in that process. So can you provide a little more context and perspective there please? Yeah, sure. So cross domain tracking is when it's just exactly what you said, it's when you have the analytics configured... a way that goes from different platforms, different platform and it's still dumps back in analytics. Now a lot of credit unions aren't going to sign up for a marketing automation. Think tomorrow you know it and I know it. So we're still in kind of the long term play with marketing automation. So if you don't have marketing automation, your first step to that is really to configure analytics properly. And cross domain tracking is the number one thing there to implement good cross domain tracking and you're going to get all of that data that we've been talking about with marketing automation. It's just phenomena sits, you know, google number 0123456 did this this this and this but it's still actionable data. You still will be able to go to the board and say board this was in my budget. These are the new members we got. These are how many loans we closed and it made the credit union this so with good cross domain tracking you can get all of that data without having the really super expensive, shiny new tool of marketing automation if you can't get a budget for it and the board is not necessarily ready for it. Yeah, I totally agree. And it'll I think it'll provide a lot more clarity into the activity that you're already working with today. On the flip side, if if we're going to add something to the plate when we start something new, it's always important so that we let something go from the past so that we can create that space and time to do the new thing and and so on the flip side, what's one recommendation you would have for a financial brand to stop doing to create that space and time to maximize the future digital growth potential? What would that one thing to stop doing today? I'm probably going to give you an answer that you're going to think that they should have stopped 10 years ago, but you'd be surprised at how many still do it, you don't need to advertise on Yelp. And uh it's best just obscenely expensive. And so I have was blown away when I found out how much that was and so those random, so it's not only just yell, but it's all of those random kind of third party platforms that say, oh, you know, advertised with us and we'll get you this yellow pages all know saying no to all of those, You do not need those please. I just I just did an episode episode 106, the impact of one bad review and talking about yelp and the expense behind it and why I had no idea, I had no idea how much it was. And now let's tie all this together. This is why cross the main track can come back and play because if you are advertising on yelp now you can track a click from yelp into your L. O. S. And do you get a converted alone and what's your cost of acquisition? $579 or some crazy or...

...1100% chance. You're not getting a converted loan from it. You felt bad. So I'll just say that right now well and I think to this is where like we have busted and I'm not gonna name names because it's not the place in a public forum like this, but we have busted large name advertising properties that have promised the world to credit unions. Uh, and when you look at their reporting and then you start matching that up with other like google analytics reporting. Like wait a minute. Someone is not telling the truth here. And so I think to just that statement that you just made one other thing that, that the audience needs to know in terms of not telling the truth your advertising agency, whether it's Mom and Pops are us in your local town or it's, you know, Bigwig Spectrum, whatever it is, if they are lumping the entire cost in as one and you have no idea how much you're paying them versus how what you're playing in click charges and that is not broken out. Please fire them and move on to somebody else who will actually give you actionable numbers because a lot of those in our experience or I have seen it before, I will say I've seen it before where a lot of those companies who don't give you the difference between what you're spending in their fees and click charges and it's not even actual right. They'll burn through the click charges in the first hour and a half and the rest of it is all based on their expense and their management fees and the client is no worse for the wear. They don't know that it's happening because it's their platform and its proprietary and that is just, that is something else that needs to go away right now. If we're still dealing with that for heaven's sakes. Yeah. So quick action on it for the audience. Go and look at your agency spin, whether it's local or national or whatever it might be and if they're not breaking out management versus by back to your point, you know what? Just give Kristin Nicole. Thank you very much. Sure. Yeah. No. And I think, well let's let's wrap up on this because I see so many like through the coaching and the advisory that we're doing it really. It's like, and it's just a knowledge. It's like there's, I don't point blame to anyone, you people. And I've had, I've had marketers telling me this VPs and cmoS and it's getting less and less, but there's still some that come and like look like please don't share this. But I didn't know that this was happening. I said, well it's okay, It's okay. 100%. It's like be amazed and percentage all the time every day. I have these conversations. It's not your fault. Now. You know, now this is where like what...

...are you gonna do with that knowledge? Are you going to stay in the status quo? Are you going to change your behavior, your action, your habits and go in a different direction. That's my encouragement. That's my hope. And if someone wants to continue this conversation with you, Kristen they want to connect with you. What's the best way for them to reach out and say hello? Oh my gosh! Well first of all, thank you so much for that and the opportunity to come and talk to you all today. I've had so much fun. I hope that you have as well and I just have loved every minute of it. Web strategies W W W dot web strategies, inc dot com. You can find me there. My email address is christian at web strategies, inc dot com linked in has my phone number and my email address so you know you can reach me anywhere. I'm always always available, connect with Kristen, learn from Kristen and Kristen thank you so much for joining me on another episode of banking on digital growth. This has been a lot of fun. It has been. I'm glad I'm super happy that we were able to connect and do it as always and until next time be well do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digital growth with James robert. Ley like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcasts, google podcasts or Spotify and subscribe while you're there to get even more practical improvement insights, visit www dot digital growth dot com to grab a preview of James roberts, best selling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from amazon inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits until next time, be well and do good.

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