30 Sep

Horrible Jays Season Ends, Leafs Start Tomorrow!

Posted in News on 30.09.13 by John Meloche

jaysMercifully, the Toronto Blue Jays’ season has officially come to a close. Finishing with a record of 74-88, the Jays recorded one more win than they did in 2012. One. This is after an offseason when Synergy’s home team picked up a slew of new players, boosted their payroll and promised fans a competitive season to be remembered alongside the glory days of the early 90s.

Clearly, that wasn’t to happen. And the Blue Jays are now forced to wait through another offseason to discover what moves will be made next to repair the franchise. “It’s embarrassing,” commented one of our team members who is also a long time fan, “There was a lot of hope going into this season. I don’t know what went wrong. And to make it worse, the Red Sox are being picked as favourites to win the World Series.”

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, left his managerial position with Toronto in favour of the Sox this past year. Needless to say, his decision did not sit well with Jays fans. Adding insult to injury is that while the Jays finished dead last this year in the American League East, the Red Sox are division champions. These same Sox, by the way, finished dead last in the A.L. East in 2012.

“Hey, maybe that’s a sign of good things to come,” said another member of our staff with a sense of optimism that not too many of his counterparts seem to share, “If the Sox can pull it off, why can’t we? The Jays have to learn from their many blunders this year and bounce back strong next year. I’m thinking it’s time we get another new manager because Gibbons didn’t work out.”

John Gibbons returned to the Blue Jays in 2013 after a previous stint that saw him manage the team to a .500 winning percentage. Not exactly stellar numbers, his statistics as manager made many a Jays fan question the decision to have him come back. It’s questionable if he’ll be back next season. One thing is for sure though, the Jays need to do a lot more than just worry about their manager in 2014.

“Our division has gone from hard to harder,” offered our first rep, “The A.L. East is already known as the toughest division in baseball and now it’s even hard for the Yankees to compete. Every other team had a winning record this year except for us. If we’re going to get anywhere, we have to able to beat teams in our division. If not, we’re toast!”

Toronto sports fans need not worry too much about the unfortunate Blue Jays season. And that’s because the Toronto Maple Leafs season starts tomorrow! Appropriately getting things underway with a tilt against the rival Montreal Canadiens, the Leafs are kicking off the new season with more optimism than they’ve had in a very long time. Are they playoff bound again?

Most fans think so. And even though their heartbreaking loss to the Boston Bruins in last season’s opening round of the playoff still stings for many, Leafs fans are excited about the donning of a new era in Toronto. At Synergy Marketing, our ravenous sports fan-filled staff is certainly hoping that the Buds do a whole lot better than their baseball counterparts from down the street. Go Leafs Go!

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27 Sep

7 More Marketing Tips For Better Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 27.09.13 by John Meloche

Laptop MegaphoneIn yesterday’s blog, we took a look at an article by Alyssa Gregory on About.com. In it, she lists a number of tips that business owners can use to better market their small businesses. These tips can come in handy at any point in the year. But as we approach the fourth quarter, they become especially useful. The holiday season is coming up quicker than you think. In today’s blog, we’ll look at a few more tips that can help.

Create a digital version of your brochure for your website. Online marketing is incredibly important. By now, it should go without saying that a strong online presence will work wonders for your business. Shoppers prefer to browse online before visiting physical locations. So be sure that your website clearly communicates what your business is all about.

Explore a website redesign. Is your website strong enough to truly highlight your brand? Perhaps, a website revamp is necessary. In some cases, business owners may want to sell their products and services directly from their websites. In others, specific calls to actions are necessary. In other words, if you want to have customers visit your store, your website should be enticing enough to make them want to do so.

Write an elevator pitch. How long do you spend in an elevator each day? Each trip is usually no more than a minute or so, right? Can you promote your business effectively in as short a time? You’re bound to meet new people on a daily basis. Come up with a quick pitch that will dazzle those you meet but may not have a lot of time to converse with. Then be sure to have them leave with your promo gift!

Register for a conference. Taking your promo gifts to conferences will really help expand your reach. Conferences are great places to mix, mingle and meet other people in your industry. The impact you make should help for your business to grow as new relationships will be developed. Make good use of your elevator pitch and promo gifts and you’ll notice a spike in the attention your company gets.

Introduce yourself to other local business owners. It’s time for you to make nice! It’s important to be a noticeable member of your community. As long as they are not your competitors, it only makes sense to get to know other business owners nearby. A bartering system may result which will only serve to introduce your brand to people who you may otherwise never meet.

Plan a local business workshop. Showing off isn’t always a bad thing. Discuss your expertise during a workshop and help community members to learn more about what you do. The time you put in to teaching others will effectively work as a commercial for your brand. It will also help to further build the relationships you have with people in your community.

Get creative with promotional products and give them away at the next networking event you attend. Yes, we mentioned this in yesterday’s blog. And clearly, it is only natural for us to do so. But as Gregory herself points out, promotional products work great at networking events. As we pointed out yesterday, promo gifts have greater impacts than business cards. Call Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884 to order yours today!

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26 Sep

6 Marketing Tips For A Strong Fourth Quarter

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 26.09.13 by John Meloche

promote1There is never a bad time to promote your business. And that goes double for the holiday season. October is right around the corner and that technically means that the holiday season is about to start. Sure, Halloween and Thanksgiving come first. But the fourth quarter will soon be underway, and before you know it, the malls will be filled with Christmas music and decorations.

It only makes sense that you get your business in on the action before the holiday shopping rush begins. And “there are thousands of ways you can promote your small business,” says Alyssa Gregory on About.com, “With the right mix of activities, you can identify and focus on the most effective marketing tactics for your small business.” Thankfully, she provides a list of ideas.

Update or create a marketing plan for your business. It all starts with a plan. And there are some key things to focus on. What is your overall objective? Don’t promote simply for the sake of getting more customers or increasing your sales. Consider how many more customers you expect to attain and exactly how much more you plan on increasing your sales. It’s about setting realistic goals.

Revisit or start your market research. Doing research will help you create those goals and bring you a lot closer to meeting and surpassing them. What strategies have worked for you in the past? Which ones have not? Consider what your competition is doing as well. What has and hasn’t worked for them? Bettering your competition will be achieved when you do your research about them.

Conduct a focus group. There’s nothing like getting the opinions of the people you are marketing your business to. Effective listening is integral here. Find out what makes people tick. What do they really like? More importantly, what do they really need? Discover how you can solve their problems with your products and services and make moves to include those solutions in your plans.

Refine your target audience and niche. Your focus groups may end up helping you to change your mind about who your target audience really is. Is there a group of people that you have overlooked in the past? Can you expand your reach to new communities? Perhaps, your online marketing needs to be improved. Determine who needs your business the most and focus on their needs.

Expand your product and service offerings. As a result, you may find that you will need to add some products and services to your arsenal. Then again, you may have to remove some products and services well. Which ones are the most popular and which ones are making you the least amount of money? Grow your business by increasing what you’re able to do for your customers.

Use promotional products. While Gregory suggests that you get new business cards, we would like to take it one step further. Promotional products leave impacts that business cards do not. They create personal connections with customers and also allow for your company to be promoted on a daily basis. There are many useful gifts to choose from. Simply give us a call at 1-877-748-9884 to order the promotional product of your choice today!

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25 Sep

Blogging Brings A Boost To Your Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 25.09.13 by John Meloche

blogHaving an interactive website is an important element of successful business promotion. That is not to say that people should be visiting your site in order to play games. No, the interaction that is most beneficial is the type that engages your customers in other ways. It’s the type that gets them curious or interested in what it is you have to say. After all, your brand is so much more than what you sell.

Social media sites are so popular today based on that fact. People like to share their views and opinions. They enjoy sharing comments and having their say. So the more you are able to assist your online “fans” with doing that, the more exposure you’re bound to bring to your business. This is why blogging is so important. At Synergy Marketing, we post a new blog to our website each work day of the week.

In fact, we don’t even take off holidays! That’s because we know that while most company websites will remain dormant for the day, we also know that people who aren’t at work have a lot more time to be surfing the internet. The Synergy Marketing Blog has touched upon topics of all sorts, but generally places focus on business promotion and customer service.

But you may be asking what the real point of blogging is. Blogging keeps people in the know. And when you keep people in the know, it makes it so that they know about you. Specifically, you want people to know about your business. So when your website is updated with interesting and engaging information on a daily basis, it provides more incentive for more people to visit it more often.

Regular blogging add keywords to your site that will help for search engines to direct online users to it when they are looking up related topics. This is why it’s important to provide your readers with quality content. Relevant information to your marketplace is well sought-after. Your blogs give people more reason to read up on your site, instead of any others.

On SocialMediaToday.com, it is explained why blogging is such a great marketing tool for business. It’s well worth the effort as long as you put aside some time regularly to write your blogs. “The benefits of a blog increase manifold as you increase your publishing frequency,” says the site, “Studies show that businesses that blog regularly are more than two times as likely to generate leads via their website as businesses that don’t.”

In addition, blogging builds trust in your business. It provides your company with a “voice” that people can relate to. The Synergy Marketing Blog, for example, speaks from a very personable level. We treat our readers as friends and do our best to relate to a wide range of people through each of our posts. We also like to blog about current events and sports to attract a wider range of readers.

But, most of all, it’s about communication. This is why we post our blogs on our Facebook page each and every day. We enjoy engaging in conversation that is worthwhile to our business. Naturally, starting up conversations about business promotion is what we do best. So after reading today’s blog, strike up one of those conversations with one of our reps by calling 1-877-748-9884.

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24 Sep

6 More Gift-Giving Tips To Consider

Posted in Promotional Products, Synergy Suggestions on 24.09.13 by John Meloche

PF-001_YELLOW-500x500Choosing the right promotional gift is an important part of advertising your business. Our expert staff members, here at Synergy Marketing, know very well the impact that the right promo gift can have on the right customer. Of course, there are so many different gifts to choose from since there are so many different types of businesses out there. It’s important that your gifts have an impact on their recipients.

In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at an article written by Mike Blaney on his “The Marketing Guy” blog. In it, he lists a number of tips on how to properly choose the promotional gift that will best suit the needs of your business. In some cases, there are important questions that you need to ask yourself. In today’s blog, we’ll ask a few of those questions.

Is it a novelty item or useful item of value? There’s nothing wrong with items that are used just for fun. Our Flying Saucers, for example, are great ways to tell everyone at a picnic, outdoor event or family barbeque about your brand. Then again, useful gifts such as pens will deliver daily impacts to people of all walks of life. Do you have a target audience in mind? You should.

What are your competitors doing? It’s always important to know what your competition is up to. But are they giving out promotional gifts as well? It’s very possible. Promo products have been helping business owners across Canada increase their customer bases for decades. You may want to ensure that you’re giving your clients something special so that they’re not swayed by your competitors.

What have you received that made an impact on you? Monitor your success. Take note of the reactions of your customers when you are giving out your gifts. Find out how new customers heard of your business to begin with. As we’ve blogged about in the past, studies have shown that promo gifts encourage repeat business as well as referrals. How has it been working for you?

What will the cost of distribution be? Have you decided if you’re going to be mailing out any of your promotional products? Or will you only be distributing them hand to hand? The impact your gifts will have will be determined, partly, by how you answer these questions. In addition, mailing them will clearly cost more than handing your gifts out personally.

How long will it last? Some gifts do last longer than others. And some gifts do have greater impacts than others. This is where the team at Synergy Marketing really comes in handy. From many years of experience, they know the type of impact each of our gifts have. Some of them only need short term success for immediate turnarounds. And some promote longevity of the company-customer relationship.

Does it look like you are trying to buy their business? This is important to consider. The giving out of gifts is not meant to come off as some kind of desperate measure to get attention. There’s a way to finesse it and do it with class and dignity. The Synergy Marketing staff would be happy to discuss this with you as well. Call them up today at 1-877-748-9884.

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23 Sep

Choosing Your Promotional Products Wisely

Posted in Promotional Products, Synergy Suggestions on 23.09.13 by John Meloche

water bottlesPromotional products work wonders in developing the relationships between businesses and their customers. As we’ve written about many times, promo gifts add personal touches to those relationships. They show customers that you’re willing to go the extra mile to make them happy. The gifts also show that you are committed to meeting the needs of your clients.

Naturally, promo gifts help to keep your business on the minds of its customers on a more regular basis. The more useful the promo gift is, the more it will be used by its recipient. At Synergy Marketing, our friendly and knowledgeable staff members work with clients all over Canada. With so many types of businesses out there, they need to be experts on the various gifts that suit each market.

On his “The Marketing Guy” blog, Mike Blaney writes that there are a number of things to consider when you decide to hand out promotional products to your customers. Not every business is the same. And therefore, not every customer is the same. That’s why there are so many different types of gifts to choose from. Let’s take a look at some things to consider so that you will choose wisely.

The frequency clients purchase your product or service. How often are your customers coming in to visit you? How important are your products and services to them? Get to know your most frequent customers. There’s nothing wrong with a little special treatment to the clients who support your business the most. Get to know them on a first name basis. Your gift will be a great ice-breaker if needed.

The season of the year. Getting your clients to use your promo gifts will be hugely important in how much they help to advertise your brand. There are, of course, items that may work better in certain seasons than others. Take, water bottles, for example. They’re more likely to be used during the summer. Ice scrapers, on the other hand, are clearly winter gifts.

Will it be left at the office or taken home? Do you want to promote your company to other office types? Or is your company a little bit more family friendly? Consider where your products may be used and where they may have the greatest impact. This will help you to select the right gifts for the right customers. Again, getting to know your customers will help you in this regard.

What is the potential return on investment? One of the greatest things about promotional products is how inexpensive they are when compared to other advertising strategies. Consider the amount that you’ll be spending on your gifts and how much you expect to make in return. Plan it out and make a solid estimation on the amount of new business you expect to receive.

Call Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884 for assistance in choosing the perfect gift for you. Our expert team is standing by to help you. There are many gifts to choose from and they are all of top-notch quality. We make it our job to get you’re the best promo products to boost your business. And be sure to check out tomorrow’s blog as we review a few more of Blaney’s tips on how to do just that!

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20 Sep

8 Reasons Why Promo Gifts Are Great

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 20.09.13 by John Meloche

P-535-500x500Promotional products have been used as methods to boost businesses across Canada for decades. But you don’t have to just take our word for it! Arsham Mirshah of Baltimore’s chapter of the American Marketing Association writes that “promotional products are unparalleled in their ability to attract new clients, increase brand awareness and ultimately grow your business.” And here’s how…

They Open Lines of Communication. Promo gifts help to fulfill what Mirshah’s reveals as “The law of reciprocity: Give, and you shall receive.” When one gets a gift, he writes, it gives that person the feeling that he or she should reciprocate with a kind gesture. For you, that means giving people added incentives to continue shopping at your place of business.

They Draw Attention. Promo gifts have a “Hey! Look at me!” aura about them, believes Mirshah. This is why they work so well at trade shows. They are not your average business card hand outs. They attract attention by being useful items that normally, people would pay for. Our clients have found that promo gifts have attracted a lot more attention for their businesses at trade shows than when they didn’t have them available.

They Last For A Long Time. As Mirshah points out, traditional advertising campaigns usually run for short periods of time. Even the most expensive TV ads only get airtime for a few weeks each. Your promo gift, however, has lasting power. Being used on a daily basis gives your promo product the power of regular and steady advertising. The more useful they are, the better.

They Increase Brand Recognition. It’s all about repetition, insists Mirshah. He writes that “brand recognition requires repeated exposure to the brand name, slogan and logo. Seeing the same thing over and over again is often one of the best ways to remember something and that’s where promotional products come in…A promotional item has the ability to show off your brand on a daily, hourly and even minute-to-minute basis.”

They Give Greater Brand Exposure. As mentioned earlier, traditional advertising methods only last for so long. Promo gifts, on the other hand, have the “uncanny ability” to reach audiences well beyond your reach. Take, pens, for example. “People are constantly taking notes, jotting down grocery lists or writing entire reports with pens, but most importantly, they’re sharing,” writes Mirshah.

They Promote A Favorable Image. He goes on to note that studies have shown that people remember the company names of those that have given them promotional gifts. In fact, a Louisiana State University discovered that 71 per cent of its respondents could recall the names of companies that gave them gifts. People remember acts of goodwill. So promo gifts make your brand a memorable one.

They Give The Gift of Re-Gifting. Promo gifts can be shared, of course. And although re-gifting is not generally a celebrated practice, it works in your favour when it comes to promotional gifts. If someone wants to pass along a useful gift that you’ve given out – so be it! It only serves to further promote your brand. Be elated that your gifts may be passed along, insists Mirshah.

Order the promotional products of your choice today! Call Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884.

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19 Sep

Filling Out Our Fall Marketing Idea List

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 19.09.13 by John Meloche

fallTreeIn yesterday’s blog, we discussed a few ideas that entrepreneurs can use to help boost sales during the fall season. We’re practically there already! School is in and the weather simply isn’t as hot as it was just a few weeks ago. It’s time to accept that summer is over. With that said, it’s important to welcome the fall season by having your store celebrate it in various ways.

As Rachel Hartman points out on the Intuit Small Business Blog, there are a variety of ways that you can use the fall season to your advantage at your place of business. Decorate your store, offer season-related discounts, incorporate students in your company and support local sports teams and community groups – these are just a few of those ways. In today’s blog, we’ll review a few more.

Say “thank you.” The autumn season is, after all, a season of giving thanks. With Thanksgiving coming up next month, you may want to break out the thank you cards early. Give them out to customers either in person or by mail. Handing out promotional products, as you’re likely well aware, is also a great way to say “thank you”. For decades, promo gifts have proven to build customer loyalty.

They are your ways of showing appreciation to those who support your business. Of course, you can do this all year round. But with Thanksgiving coming up, you may want to tie in your promo gift to your “Thank You” promotion which may also include special discounts on seasonal items. By the way, your thank you notes and promo gifts help to get you referrals as well!

Offer space to community groups. Writes Hartman, “if you have extra room in your business, consider opening it up to local residents. For instance, if you run a cafe or a business center, try hosting study sessions for students. If you own a youth fitness center, offer some of your space for PTA meetings during the week. As well, make special deals available for those who come in.”

This is a great way to generate more interest in your business from audiences that may not generally visit you. Offering discounts to those visitors is also a great way to keep them coming back. This fall, you’ll want to do all you can to introduce your company to new people. Growing your business during the fall will pay off mightily once the holiday shopping season comes along.

Keep customers in the loop. Offer your expertise. Give advice. Show your clients you care. Keep them informed about the many different things going on with your business. But also, keep them informed of things are that going on in your community. This will help your brand have more a “family friendly” feel to it. You’ll be making friends, not just ties to new customers.

This goes a long way with customers because it will help them to build their trust in you. It doesn’t hurt to be liked by the people who come into your store. In fact, it is what you should be aiming for all the time anyway. This tip, of course, doesn’t have to be relegated to your fall promotions only. Keep it, as well as the others discussed in our recent blogs, in mind all year long!

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18 Sep

Fall Into Some New Fall Marketing Ideas

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 18.09.13 by John Meloche

autumnAlthough summer doesn’t officially come to an end until this weekend, it’s pretty much done. The chill is already in the air and any day now, those leaves are going to start changing colour. For your business, that means the ways in which you promote have to change as well. It may not yet be time to start putting up Christmas decorations, but times are certainly changing.

In many stores, Halloween displays are already up. Although the annual spooky celebration is still over a month away, the displays demonstrate the need for business owners to think ahead. On the Intuit Small Business Blog, Rachel Hartman writes that the fall season presents a number of opportunities to entrepreneurs. She offers up several ideas on how to utilize the changing of the seasons to boost business.

Go back to school again. Okay, so maybe you graduated a long time ago and have no intention of returning back to the classroom. After all, you are in business for yourself so when would you have time for classes? In actuality, Hartman recommends that you offer “school-centered deals and promotions”. You may even want to consider hiring students who may be able to help you reach a younger market.

Then again, maybe taking a class isn’t so bad an idea after all. Many long time business owners get a little too caught up in their own way of thinking simply because they’ve been in business for many years. It doesn’t hurt to learn something new. There must have been advances in your industry since the day you first opened your doors. Expand your mind and knowledge of your business world and see if it doesn’t help.

Support local sports. Get involved in local schools as well as youth sports leagues and see if you can sponsor a team. School is in, obviously, so the more noticeable your brand is among the student population, the more young customers you are bound to attract. As well, you may want to have your business name and logo don the sweater of a local sports team.

Consider this. Every game played is an advertisement for your brand. During the game, you may want to be present so that you can offer special deals for team members and fans, suggests Hartman. “Pass out samples, coupons, or free T-shirts to those who come to the game,” she writes. Doing so is an awesome way to attract members of your community to your company.

Think themes. There are a variety of fall themes that you can celebrate at your business. Fall colours are loved by most whether they enjoy the cooler weather or not. Give your place of business that “warm and cozy” fall feeling by putting up season-minded decorations. As well, come up with special seasonal sales where your prices “fall back”. This will inject some new life into your store!

“I actually like celebrating Halloween early,” shared one of our clients earlier this week, “I get the scary stuff up and it intrigues people to take a look around my store. They end up asking questions about where I got certain decorations and those conversations end up turning into ways that I can help them with something I’m selling. It’s fun and it’s good for drumming up business.”

Be sure to check out tomorrow’s blog as we provide some more marketing ideas for fall!

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17 Sep

Up Your Online Game To Boost Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 17.09.13 by John Meloche

Online-marketing-signAs Peter Walters says on the Business Review Canada website, promoting your small business isn’t just important, it’s essential to its success. Naturally, this is something that business owners think about on a daily basis. At least, they should be, anyway. It’s important that a business owner’s thinking never stays stagnant. Just being happy to get by is no way to promote longevity.

Walters insists that there are three simple areas that business owners should focus on when it comes to promoting their brands. Interestingly, there is a clear focus on the concept of online marketing. It’s been highlighted many times, in the Synergy Marketing Blog, that a strong online presence is a key component to good business promotion these days.

Website. Too many companies neglect to give their websites proper attention, says Walters. Both the design of the site and the user interface should be addressed. Strong websites can work to both drive sales and boost the images of brands. It’s widely known that most Canadian shoppers enjoy browsing online before visiting stores. Is your website encouraging people to visit you?

“Where do your eyes go first when you get to your home page?” Walters asks, “Is there an immediate call to action?” You website needs to be bright, compelling and able to draw customers deeper in so that they learn more, he continues. The longer a potential customer spends taking a look at your website, the better chance you have of converting browsing into selling.

Email Blasts. Email marketing is still quite popular despite what some strategists believe, Walters reports. It’s important, however, not to get lost in the shuffle by having your emails appear as spam. Therefore, business owners should make their emails seem personal, relevant and “human”, he recommends. That way, they will be a lot more worth reading.

As many business owners know, relationship-building is a major part of any company’s success. Effective email marketing includes messages that treat recipients as people, not just customers who may be willing to spend their money. Email blasts are inexpensive ways to get the word out, no matter how many people are receiving that word. Just make sure that the word is an enjoyable one to read!

Social Media. There is likely no list of marketing tips out there that exclude the use of social media. “If you’re not using social media…wake up!” insists Walters. That includes using such “top tools” as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Each social media site has its own unique purposes. And there are various ways to use them to the advantage of your company.

Using social media is the ideal way to speak directly to your customers. Engaging in conversations and encouraging discussion are big parts of what make social media so successful. Leave comments, post pictures, share stories, answer questions and “like” other pages – these are all ways to garner more interest and drum up more business. Social media offer people free access to the world. Use them well!

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