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Benchmark Report Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015-2016

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The research is based on interviews with 259 marketing, lead generation and sales professionals from around the world (USA and Canada, Europe, Russia, India), both B2B and B2C.

The key themes of the report:
- Strategy for lead generation and lead criteria
- Most effective lead generation tactics of 2015
- Lead generation challenges and problems
- Sales to follow lead generation
- Price per lead
- Technical support for lead generation
- Functional and organizational issues of lead generation
- Future plans for lead generation in 2016
- Practice: insights and personal experience from the leading companies

Published in: Business

Benchmark Report Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015-2016

  1. 1. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  A Global Benchmark Report conducted by LEAD Generation 2015-16 March 2016
  2. 2. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Not for resale. All digital products, PDFs and online content are subject to copyright protection. Each digital product (EBook or PDF) is licensed to a single user only. Customers or recipients are not allowed to copy, distribute, share and/or transfer the products they purchase to any third party or person.
  3. 3. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Table of content Research methodology 4 Part 1. Results of Lead Generation in 2015 5  Part 2. Lead Generation Workflow 13 Part 3. Plans for Lead Generation in 2016 21 Part 4. Case Studies 26 Part 5. Survey Demographics 36 Contacts 44
  4. 4. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Research Methodology The research is based on interviews with 259 marketing, lead generation and sales professionals from around the world (USA and Canada, Europe, Russia, India), both B2B and B2C. Interviews were conducted by Internet, telephone, or e‐mail. The research was conducted on January 11, 2016 to February 29, 2016. The respondents were asked 10 to 26 questions that depended on their lead generation strategy. 92% of the respondents stated that they need new customers now and that their sales cycle includes personal (including online) interaction with prospective customers. Upon our request, 6 experts playing various roles in lead generation shared their expertise and provided information about their lead generation campaigns. We are grateful to every respondent for sharing their valuable insight with us.
  5. 5. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Part 1 Results of Lead Generation in 2015
  6. 6. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Did your lead generation campaigns in  2015 bring you new leads and sales? Yes, we have new  leads and sales. 85% Partially, we have  new leads, but no  sales from them. 14% No, we do not have  any leads. 1%
  7. 7. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Which was the average quality of the leads  found and attracted in 2015? The leads were  constantly of an  excellent quality,  ready to start sales. 7% 3/4 of the leads were  of a good quality,  which for the most  part is taken into  sales or lead  nurturing. 28% Half of the leads was  of good quality and  are taken into sales  or lead nurturing. 48% 3/4 of the leads were  of poor quality and  were disqualified. 11% All of the leads were  of poor quality. 1% Don't know. 5%
  8. 8. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Which activities were the most effective for  lead generation in 2015? 3% 5% 6% 16% 23% 24% 24% 33% 33% 33% 35% 38% 41% 46% 57% Fax and snail mails Offline ads (TV, radio, banners) Other Online ads Social media advertising Ads in search engines (pay‐per‐click) Social media marketing Content marketing Marketing researches for lead generation Business meetings arrangements Search engine optimization Telemarketing Web‐site Events and webinars Marketing e‐mails
  9. 9. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Which challenges and obstacles did you  face when doing lead generation in 2015? 5% 7% 8% 9% 9% 12% 16% 16% 19% 23% 24% 26% 31% 35% Other Economic crisis stopped our activities No challenges and obstacles Problems with testing Problems with approving within the company Need for special software No resources for lead nurturing Problems with targeting Lack of time Lack of budget Lack of human resources Lead generation and sales coordination Low‐quality contacts databases Necessity for new content
  10. 10. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  What was the main reason for sales not closed  or customers' delayed decisions in 2015? 4% 11% 15% 17% 18% 20% 24% 24% 29% 32% Other Don't know Economic crisis Leads were of poor quality Leads had no real need or interest in the product Leads should be nurtured, too early to start sales Customers have chosen competing products The sales department did not work out the leads Long purchase life‐cycle, the sales go on Leads had no budget
  11. 11. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  During the last few years at our company, we use more and more European market places, which are web services that specialize in generating leads for businesses. On one hand, they provide enterprises with highly competitive quotes from nationwide suppliers of office equipment and business services. On the other hand, these web services allow product and service suppliers to get new leads that are interested in certain categories of goods. Benoit Bossuet Lead Generation Manager  Neopost Experts’ Opinions
  12. 12. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Over the past 1‐2 years, many marketers have shifted from a lead volume focus to a revenue focus (quality over quantity). With attribution technology available, marketers can be held accountable for revenue and also can prove their successes by measuring ROI. There has been a shift toward focusing on the full marketing funnel rather than a top of the funnel lead generation approach. Eva Sharf Media Manager,  Bizible I think that content marketing is the best way to approach new leads. People don’t want to be pressured or bullied. Providing valuable information that assists prospects in making their own choice appears to be most effective. Companies need a good balance of outbound calling and emailing to be most effective when nurturing leads. David Piete Lead Generation Manager Certify, Inc. Experts’ Opinions
  13. 13. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Part 2 Lead Generation Workflow
  14. 14. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  How does a lead reveal itself for your  company? 4% 8% 8% 10% 10% 12% 17% 29% 32% 32% 38% 45% 60% 62% Other Subscription to your newsletter Social network activity ("like", "share", etc.) Website visitor Click on your advertising in social media Click on your advertising in search engines Visitor to your event/booth/webinar Interest identified as a result of telemarketing Positive response to your direct mail Download of a whitepaper, case study, etc. Request via e‐mail, fax, feedback forms, etc. Request for a call of your sales managers Agreement on a business (online) meeting Incoming call regarding your products
  15. 15. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Which criteria are important for you to  estimate the results of a lead generation  campaign? 3% 24% 33% 47% 53% 63% 74% Other Shortening of a sales cycle Lead price Sales volume Return on marketing investments Number of qualified leads Conversion rate (deals closed/leads)
  16. 16. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Do you have some marketing budget  allocated especially for lead generation? Yes 74% No 26%
  17. 17. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Up to which price per lead  are you ready to pay? 1‐5 USD 6% 50‐150 USD 9% 0‐1 USD 10% 150 and more  USD 13%15‐50 USD 17% 5‐15 USD 19% I don't know 26%
  18. 18. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Who does lead generation  in your company? Other 2% In house call  center 6% Top‐management 8% Sales department 9% Outsourcing call‐ center / lead  generation agency 12% Lead generation  department 24% Marketing  department 39%
  19. 19. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  One challenge that companies face is that the primary metric used to measure marketing success is different for various job levels. Typically, CMOs and senior marketers use revenue as the primary success metric, but intermediate and entry‐level marketers are opting for a mixed set of metrics, including top of the funnel metrics. Additional challenges are a lack of accurate marketing attribution and an inability to measure the true ROI of lead generation strategies. Eva Sharf Media Manager Bizible Experts’ Opinions
  20. 20. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Our target audience is mostly medium and large enterprises (above $200M revenue). We actively participate in various industry events and shows, including ONS, Innotrans, Agretechnica, Baumag, Bauma,Power‐Gen, Hannover Messe, etc. These events provide great results and around 50% of qualified leads were converted into sales. However, participating in such events is always a challenge as event timeframes are very limited, a huge influx of visitors may occur, language barriers may arise, and geo‐specifics are often an issue. Rahul Shrivastava Lead Generation Manager  Cyient Limited Experts’ Opinions
  21. 21. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Part 3 Plans for Lead Generation in 2016
  22. 22. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  What does your company plan to do for  lead generation in 2016? 3% 7% 33% 35% 36% 38% 38% 46% 47% 56% 60% Other No activities planned Team building: improvements of interaction between marketing and sales, motivation Business contacts databases: updating and leveraging Analytics: estimating ROI, results analysis, lead qualification Content: new collaterals, white papers, newsletters, etc. Automation of sales and marketing (implementation of CRM, e‐ mail system, etc.) Website: update, optimization, adding lead generation functions Lead nurturing (working on cold leads and nurture them until ready for sales) Targeting: segmenting, qualification, new groups Lead generation strategy: development and implementation
  23. 23. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Which type of marketing campaigns do you  plan to do for lead generation in 2016? 4% 7% 10% 23% 27% 33% 35% 36% 37% 45% 47% 49% 51% 51% 52% Other Fax and postal mailings Offline ads (TV, radio, banners) Online ads (e.g., on target news portals) Social media advertising Business meetings arrangements Marketing researches for lead generation Ads in search engines (pay‐per‐click) Telemarketing Social media marketing Marketing mailings Search engines optimization Your website (downloads, subscriptions, etc.) Events and webinars Content marketing
  24. 24. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  The primary upcoming trend is the adoption of account based marketing (ABM) strategies by marketing teams. New technologies are allowing marketers to implement ABM through digital marketing efforts, and I believe that new marketing technology will continue to make ABM more accessible. Shifting to ABM also requires close alignment with sales, so I expect marketing and sales teams will start implementing the same lead and revenue objectives as well. Eva Sharf Media Manager Bizible Experts’ Opinions
  25. 25. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Experts’ Opinions I see that the main trend of lead generation for the future will lean heavily toward capturing information from social media. However, I doubt we will receive the same quality of the information via social media compared to the information we gather by talking to the prospect directly over the phone. Vincent John Espiritu Program and Sales Director JR Global Marketing I think that in the future lead generation will start to shift away from high‐volume, outbound calling. Prospects will be more receptive to interactive, informative email marketing. Also, ranking web sites like Capterra and G2crowd will continue to be a proven source of leads. David Piete Lead Generation Manager Certify, Inc.
  26. 26. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Part 4 Case Studies
  27. 27. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  An IBM Partner’s Lead Generation Project (1/3) IBM Marketing Support When acting as a partner of a large IT‐giant such as IBM, the partner‐company must be involved in many activities that support the vendor. IBM looks for effective marketing actions like orchestrating customer events or conducting calls to generate leads. While coordinating joint activities with IBM, the partner initiated a lead generation campaign, which was comprised of cold calls aimed at arranging business meetings with qualified leads. JR Global Marketing executed this campaign. Target Group CIOs, IT Directors, and IT Managers of large and medium cross‐industry enterprises, including retail, banking, manufacturing, and insurance of the Asia‐Pacific region comprised the target audience. Goals This lead generation campaign’s primary objectives were to identify leads, which would require additional hardware and applications, and to estimate system integration support requirements. A secondary objective was to identify future plans in a company’s IT department, which created potential opportunities for the IBM partner to work on in the future. Project Preparation The first step was to create a list of qualified leads. This list had to be checked carefully to filter out possible ongoing opportunities or existing clients. The second step centered on creating necessary materials for the lead generation project, including a call script, letters samples, and a lead report form that outlined
  28. 28. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  An IBM Partner’s Lead Generation Project (2/3) scoring for lead qualification. A team was then trained on project‐specific requirements. Once documentation had been finalized and the team was ready to start, the active calling phase began. Lead Criteria The key criterion for the target group was whether the contacts had any plans related to an IT upgrade such as a large business project that required new hardware; for example, ERP system implementation. The phone conversation identified specific information relating to the Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe and Environment (BANT+E) criteria. Each criterion was ranked using a score card. Collaboration Each week, the IBM partner launched a call with the outsourcing team to check on the progress of the leads and to ensure that no stone was left unturned. “Having a hands‐on approach is crucial to make sure that each lead is being worked on and moving onto the next step,” said Vincent John Espiritu, Program and Sales Director for JR Global Marketing. Results Here are the quantitative results: Parameter Result Budget $10 000 Conversion  2.5‐4%  Number of suspects 500 Number of leads 17 Price per lead $588
  29. 29. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Lead Nurturing While some leads were qualified, there were other leads that did not pass BANT+E criteria and did not qualify. These leads were considered “Suitable” or “Needs Additional Information” and were enrolled in a lead‐nurturing program that would convert them to qualified status. Towards the end of the campaign period, these leads were revisited via phone to see if they were ready to be evaluated by the client’s IT solutions. The lead‐nurturing program led to even more qualified leads. JR Global Marketing provided this case study. www.jrglobalmarketing.net As technologies continue to evolve and more people who use the internet display more information, it has now become crucial to be more creative, but also careful in generating highly qualified leads. Cold calling is still something that I think is very efficient in qualifying and disqualifying leads, as long as an effective methodology is used. Vincent John Espiritu Program and Sales Director JR Global Marketing An IBM Partner’s Lead Generation Project (3/3)
  30. 30. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  BrandMaker’s Lead Generation Process (1/3) About BrandMaker is a provider of Marketing Resource Management (MRM) systems. The company develops and markets sophisticated software solutions for the marketing communication of medium and large‐scale organizations. Experienced with the best know‐hows of MRM systems, the company has established a steady and strong lead generation process. Target Group The company focuses on large and medium enterprises of B2B sector, particularly those in the financial and manufacturing industries. The titles of these decision makers are C‐level marketing, sales, business development, and commercial executives. Generation… The first step in the process of bringing leads to revenue is to receive contacts of those who are interested in the company’s solutions and MRM in general. These contacts are called marketing generated leads. These leads are received via various marketing methods: ads in search engines and relevant websites, LinkedIn, SEO, SEM, blogs, etc. While running these campaigns, the company uses a set of landing pages and constantly practices A/B testings.
  31. 31. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  BrandMaker’s Lead Generation Process (2/3) … and Qualification Further, the leads need to be qualified from both marketing and sales perspectives. The conversion of marketing generated leads to marketing qualified ones is approximately 33‐34%, and from marketing qualified to sales qualified—35‐36%. Having passed these qualifications, a lead becomes an opportunity and active sales begin. In an equation, the formula is as follows: MGL => MQL => SQL => Opportunity => Opportunity Management => Closing Results Here are the quantitative results the company  has achieved within a year: Parameter Result Marketing Generated  Leads (MGL) 1700  Marketing Qualified  Leads (MQL) 550   Sales Qualified Leads  (SQL) ~200  Cost per Lead 26,50 to 325,00€ Conversion of Qualified  Leads to Sales 8‐10%
  32. 32. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  We definitely stand on keeping our lead generation team in‐house. Thus, we develop and enrich our talent pool and competence center. Lead generation is one of the core processes within our business so we dedicate many resources into leveraging a maximum and keeping it within our enterprise. One of my key goals is to develop modern lead generation strategies using social media, online promotion, calls and cadence, touch points, and development of lists segmented by sales channel, customer type, and customer demographics. BrandMaker provided this case study. www.brandmaker.com Timm Brocks  Director Sales Lead Generation  BrandMaker BrandMaker’s Lead Generation Process (3/3)
  33. 33. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Certify’s Lead Generation Process (1/3) About Certify is a cloud‐based travel and expense management software provider. With prescheduled, auto‐generated expense report creation and mobile capabilities, Certify eliminates the need for paper receipts and spreadsheets and provides insight into travel and expense spending with a full suite of on‐demand reporting and analytics. Target Group The key priority industries for 2015‐2016 are manufacturing, recruiting, and retail. The product suits companies of all sizes; however, the most effective conversion from leads into sales arises from companies that have between 50 and 500 employees. Tactics Certify’s lead generation has been focusing on industry‐driven campaigns. These campaigns include webinars, email campaigns, and outbound calling. An integral part of these activities has been a creation of relevant marketing content that serves to attract the target group’s attention. Internal Process Recently, the company has focused on generating more leads by pushing prospects to its website. Once there, prospects are encouraged to leave contacts and then the contacts provided are processed by the lead generation team. The lead generation managers’ main goal is to build and cultivate prospective relationships by initiating discussion and conducting follow‐up communication in order to move opportunities
  34. 34. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Certify’s Lead Generation Process (2/3) through the sales funnel. Further, these contacts are turned over to an appropriate member of the sales team to hold web and onsite demonstrations. Lead Criteria A new contact is considered a qualified lead if it has specific questions about the company’s services or has shown interest in pricing and web‐demonstration. To qualify a lead, it is essential to know the company’s size and its headquarters. In‐House Team Forming a team of 4, lead generation managers conduct inbound and outbound calling to qualify and distribute leads to a sales team of over 30 sales executives. The lead flow and further sales activities are controlled in a CRM system. The lead generation team is actively collaborating with sales managers to develop and augment the sales pipeline. Various new tools are tested to raise the effectiveness of lead generation. “For example, a new email tracking tool was introduced at the beginning of my campaigning. I am currently conducting a trial of the software to see if it would be beneficial to the rest of the team,” says David Piete, Lead Generation Specialist at Certify, Inc. “Although I cannot account for the rest of our lead generation department, my quantitative results break down as: 567 emails, 720 calls, 105 email clicks, 11 interactive clicks and 4 qualified leads,” adds David.
  35. 35. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Next Steps In 2016, Certify’s lead generation team will be working on campaigns to help promote webinars and trade shows. These campaigns will be done to help push traffic to the website and achieve the maximum amount of qualified leads. Certify Travel & Expense Software provided this  case study.  www.certify.com I was the first lead generation specialist at my company — Certify, Inc. — a cloud‐based software provider. I have seen the way our process has evolved over the last year. We started with strict cold calling campaigns. Now we use online placements, webinars, info graphs, emails, campaigns, and paid vendor leads. David Piete Lead Generation Manager Certify, Inc. Certify’s Lead Generation Process (3/3)
  36. 36. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Part 5 Survey Demographics
  37. 37. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Survey demographics Australia 4% Other 9% Russia, CIS  & Ukraine 12% India 18% Europe, UK 21% USA,  Canada 36% Geography The majority of respondents (36%) work for companies conducting business in the USA and Canada. 21% of the respondents represent Western European businesses (Germany, Italy, and Spain). India was another popular destination for lead generation professionals, totaling 18% of respondents.
  38. 38. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Survey demographics Business sector The majority of respondents (78%) belonged to the B2B sector. Number of employers 45% of the respondents' companies employed a staff of 100. B2B  (business  to  business) 78% B2C  (business  to  customer) 20% B2G  (business to  government) 2% <10 14% 10‐99 31% 100‐499 29% 500‐5000 16% 5000+ 10%
  39. 39. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Survey demographics Industries “Software and Internet” and “Business and Financial Services” were the most wide‐spread industries. Revenue 28% of the respondents’ companies had revenues of 10‐250M USD. 2,6% 3,5% 3,9% 4,3% 5,2% 5,2% 5,6% 6,5% 7,4% 9,5% 12,1% 13,9% 20,8% Transportation & Storage Education Telecommunications Healthcare&Pharma Consumer Services Energy & Utilities Computers & Electronics Media & Entertainment Other Financial Services Manufacturing Business Services Software & Internet 500K‐1M  USD 12% 250M+  USD 18% Less than  500K 21% 1‐10M USD 21% 10‐250M  USD 28%
  40. 40. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Survey demographics Role in lead generation process 31% of the respondents were responsible for overall lead generation team management. Job title category The respondents’ most popular job title category was lead generation director (29%). 1% 2% 2% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 22% 31% Copywriter/content creation Other (please indicate) Consulting on lead generation Approval and budgeting No role Databases Telemarketer Online ads and promotion All the lead generation fuctions Realization of lead generation campaign Closing sales Strategy and planning Lead generation team management 2% 2% 5% 6% 6% 6% 8% 11% 12% 14% 29% CCO/Business Development Director Chief Executive Officer/General manager Business Development/Commercial Manager Other Sales and Channels Director Founder/Owner Sales and Channels Manager Lead generation director CMO/Director of marketing Marketer/analyst Lead generation manager
  41. 41. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  I would recommend for companies whose lead generation is not the expertise of their business to outsource it to marketing firms that specialize in this function. Outsourcing enables these enterprises to focus their energies on closing sales, leaving the tedious work of lead generation to those who are highly experienced. An outsourcing agency has to show that it has generated results and ROI for its clients and demonstrate that the agency is comprised of highly professional employees that will represent their client’s business. Vincent John Espiritu Program and Sales Director JR Global Marketing Experts’ Opinions
  42. 42. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Experts’ Opinions Be more social and try to get to know more about customers rather than telling more about you. Timely follow‐up and engagement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms with the prospects are also very important for success. Rahul Shrivastava Lead Generation Manager  Cyient Limited Adopt pipeline marketing! Pipeline marketing is a marketing approach that focuses on connecting marketing and sales data, which enables decision making based on revenue. Move away from using lead volume as a primary success metric, and start learning which of your marketing efforts are driving business. Eva Sharf Media Manager Bizible
  43. 43. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  About NWComm NWComm marketing and lead generation agency was established in 2009. We provide high‐level business communications which drive sales. We have successfully completed over 170 lead generation and marketing projects. The company specializes in lead generation for information technologies, telecommunication, corporate education and consulting companies.
  44. 44. © NWComm. A Benchmark Report on Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2015‐16  Contacts NWComm info@nwcomm‐marketing.com www.nwcomm‐marketing.com

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