Choosing the right Marketing Consultant to work with can be a difficult decision, so I have written this blog to help you choose the right Marketing Consultant to work with by understanding more about them and what they can do for your company.
In the past you may have;
been burnt by someone who promised everything and delivered nothing
worked with someone who said they were doing one thing and did something else entirely or the complete opposite
found that the person/company you had been working with has lied to you and not done anything for the budget you have paid them
taken on someone who just didn’t get what you do and just marketed in the wrong way
Which has left you feeling a little sceptical and un-trusting of the people out there who call themselves “marketers”.
However, you may not have walked this journey yet, but want someone to help you from the start of your journey to ensure you’re off on the right foot.
How will I know if I need a Marketing Mentor/Consultant?
You need a Marketing Consultant when you want to build your business by;
improving relationships and loyalty with your current clients
attracting new customers
or want to expand into new markets
You may not know which goals should be set within the business and you may need help to set well-defined goals which in turn will require a solid strategy and marketing plan with both short- and long-term goals.
You’ll possibly need help monitoring key metrics to measure your success, as you may be uncertain which key metrics should be measured or are unsure about how your current marketing efforts are working for you.
What is the difference between a Marketing Strategy, Plan and Calendar?
A lot of people get mixed up with all three or do one instead of all of them.
The Strategy (is the what)
is a set of goals you would like to achieve in or with your business
A Plan (is the how)
is the actions you are going to take to achieve the goals you have set
A Calendar (is the when)
is the organisation of your plan and how you are going to execute it
Sometimes what we think we need, isn’t actually what we need.
Which is why you should speak with a Marketing Consultant to get some guidance on your thoughts and ideas.
What does a Marketing Mentor/Consultant do?
The definition of a Marketing Consultant…
…is someone who assists marketing managers and directors in coming up with focused branding, positioning, and marketing tools for each product or service. Working within the client’s budget to produce effective promotional materials and advertising opportunities. Tracks sales and feedback and adjusts marketing strategies as necessary. (From Wikipedia)
A Marketing Consultants’ role is to come into your business, learn about you and your company quickly, along with what you would like to achieve with it and put a strategy, plan and/or calendar into place and help you implement it (if you require them to do so).
Some Marketing Consultants…
will get hands-on within your business, depending on their skill set and how involved you would like them to be
won’t do the work for you, but will find the right people and bring them together to enable the implementation to happen
The role of a Marketing Consultant is to:
create a strategy, plan and calendar for you or your team to work from based on what the business goals are
keep you on track and accountable to help you take action and achieve the results you want
ensure you are implementing the plan and calendar by hitting the deadlines set
be there for you when you need their support
give you plenty of new ideas
bounce your ideas off them to make sure they are in line with your strategy
bring their experience to your table
Most marketing consultants will work with you for a set period of time or within a project you have and/or project manage your plan for you or with you (depending on the size of your team)
They should also tailor your strategy and plan just for you and your business.
There is something you really need to know…
…all marketers have not been made equally!
There is no blueprint or shortcut for every business to just put in place.
What do I mean by that?
Here are 3 things to think about, which will help you choose the right marketing consultant.
1. Which skill(s) do you need your Marketing Mentor/Consultant to have?
Every single marketer has different skills, qualifications and experience within the field of marketing, which means their understanding of marketing isn’t the same. Also, the type of marketing they do and HOW they do it will be different.
Let me put this another way. Have you ever said something to someone, and they have replied in a way you didn’t expect or didn’t reply at all? This could be because their understanding of what you said was different to what you meant and or their understanding of it. Otherwise known as “Semantics“.
It happens to the best of us! Communication breaks down, which is where expectations and understanding goes out the window.
For example; a consultant who has spent a lot of time within the traditional side of marketing may not have as much experience within the digital arena. If they do have digital abilities, what kind do they have? Web, S.E.O., or Social?
If Web, where they an account manager (client facing), a designer (design and user focused) or developer (coding)? All of which have a very different skill set, each with their own merits.
Let’s go further into it…
There are Marketers who are;
self-taught and started up their own business to help others based on work they have done for someone else
tag it onto their current offering
have all the qualifications but no hands-on experience or results to show for it
haven’t got qualifications but started when the Internet was in its infancy and climbed there way up the ladder
a mixture of all of the above
All of which could be really good and really bad at what they do.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Please bear in mind, I’ve not written blog to poo poo how people have learnt or deliver marketing. I’ve written this so you can see we are not all bad people and that we are ALL different.
Stick with me, all will become apparent!
2. What kind of marketing help do you need?
Before thinking about working with a Marketing Consultant, you need to think about the type of work, help or support you are looking for, so you can identify the right person or company for the job.
Here is a list of a few marketing methods. Which do you need help with? (If it isn’t mentioned, jot it down on your note pad to save for later)
Is it a strategy, plan and calendar that you need? Do you need to start from scratch or review what you have and go from there?
Someone to do your social media for you (hands on) or show you how to do it better (deliver in-house social media training)?
Do you need someone to keep you accountable and ensure you get everything done inline with your strategy and business goals?
To work with your and “hold your hand” so to speak?
Implementation? Want someone to implement everything for you? – some Marketing Consultants can do this, but probably via third parties and introductions (depending on their skill set) These type of Marketing Consultants know exactly where their skills and weaknesses lie and bring in the experts instead of trying to do everything themselves.
A website review, rebuild or S.E.O (Search Engine Optimisation)?
Look at your Ads on Facebook or Google
Obviously, depending on what kind of help you want depends on who you take on to work with.
It could be all of the above and more but the point of this is you for you realise WHAT kind of help you need before looking for a consultant to work with. When you know what you need, its easier for them to help you.
The marketing consultants who stand out will be the ones who have the particular skill set and experience you need!
What are you expecting from working with this Marketing Consultant?
The final thing to think about is your expectations. What do you expect from the marketing consultant, the marketing itself (when implemented), yourself with regards to how much you are going to commit?
You need to set those before your initial chat or meeting to ensure you know what you want from the new relationship you are about to make and that you are with the right person.
If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed. ― Sylvia Plath
This is generally where the problems have occurred in the past. Expectations that were set (or assumed) and were not met. So, to help you choose the right person, set your expectations but bear in mind they may not be realistic and please don’t take that the wrong way.
Most things can be done, but they could take more time and potentially more budget, depending on which activity(s) we are talking about.
The biggest thing to you need to make sure is that you don’t assume certain things come as standard.
When setting expectations for yourself and others follow these steps;
Make them clear for yourself. Know exactly what you want from the relationship you’re about to go into.
Understand why you need these things. Why are they important to you? Is it a deal breaker if they cannot do X,Y or Z?
Meet and discuss them with your team and the marketing consultant you are meeting
Write them down and take them with you to your meeting
Seek clarification to ensure they are accepted or not
Get agreement and commitment from the people you are about to work with
The marketing consultant you choose should also do the same for you and should go through your expectations with you to make sure you’re all singing from the same sheet.
If your reason is because of working with someone in the past that didn’t work out, the reason why it hasn’t worked out is because your promises were not met.
Set them from the beginning so you have a base to work from.
Now you know when you need a Marketing Consultant, what they can do for you and your company and the difference between a strategy, a plan and a calendar answer these 3 questions to help you choose the perfect Marketing Consultant for you. It’s not an easy task but something you should do the research on, so you are in the right hands.
Here are the 3 steps again:
What kind of marketing help? – Understand the type of help you require. List it out so you have a clear idea.
Which skills do you need? – Ask the person or company involved the skill set(s) they have to ensure they fit in with the needs of your business
What are you expecting? – Set your own expectations so you are clear on what you want from the people you will be working with
Clarity is something we search for daily. When you have it, its easier to move forward.
I hope this blog has helped you gain more clarity on choosing the marketing consultant for you.
How can Koogar help you and your company?
Most of the time we sit with potential clients who are looking for Social Media help or a Marketing Plan as they believe they are not utilising it as best they could. This could be for a number of reasons; for example; they haven’t got the time, are unsure of what to say or how to find the clients they are after.
They are also after brand awareness because no one in the local or surrounding areas know that they exist or they want more business.
Our clients want to be seen and found when they are needed by their perfect client.
ALL businesses are different and as I’ve mentioned before, there isn’t a blueprint out there that will help you get what you want however there are process and exercises that every business needs to go through to get the results they are after.
The way in which you complete those process and exercises are different for the type of business you have and the results you want.
Marketing doesn’t get you business, marketing gets you awareness. It’s what you do with that awareness that then gets you the business!
Today I talk about – 7 things to do for your Marketing over the Christmas holiday period….
Hi, Amanda here from Koogar.
I’m really sorry. It’s like, past [12:00] I think, and basically, my computer doesn’t want to find my camera, my laptop doesn’t want to turn on, and so I am left with my phone. It’s Monday, it’s marketing Monday, today. I’ve written down a number of things, seven things, to basically do for your marketing over the next week. This is our last week when it comes to Christmas. We’ve got probably a lot to do. You’ve got people to email, meetings to book in, networking events to maybe attend, or maybe you’re just winding down, or you might already have wound down for Christmas. What I want to do is just show you these seven things, or they’re just idea of things that you can do over the Christmas period, over the holiday period.
So, number one is start planning. Don’t wait until next year to start planning. You need to … Yes, Jay, thanks for joining us. Tech is great when it works, when it doesn’t work it isn’t so great and you can’t do Facebook Lives’ without any laptop, desktop, but now I have my phone, so, yeah. Number one is start planning. Don’t wait until next year. Don’t wait until you’re busy catching up with people or busy having meetings. Start planning now. Start having a think about what it is that you want to achieve, what do you want to do, is there any new events or places that you want to go to. Do you want to speak? Do you want to write a book? Do you want to update your websites? Plan now what you’re wanting to achieve for the new year. It’s, you know, very similar to New Year’s resolutions but you should really be thinking about your business now. If not before now? You should be thinking about it now in terms of what you want to achieve. What are the things that you want to achieve in the new year? That’s tip number one.
Tip number two is develop a marketing strategy. The planning part of it is the stuff that you’re actually going to do, the Facebook Lives’, the updates on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, photographs, all of that kind of stuff. The planning is the doing stuff. The strategy is about the goals, what are you wanting to achieve? It could be you want to double the amount of hits that you have on your websites, double the amount of clients that you’ve had in 2017. Or, for a particular month, double your turnover, triple your turnover. Whatever it is, that’s the strategy side of stuff so have a think about what strategy you want to put together. What goals, what hard-core goals do you want to nail for 2018? Is 2018 going to be your year? Is it a year where you’re going to be getting rid of a lot of things? A lot of products or services and just tidying up your core? What is it that you’re trying to do? What is it you’re trying to achieve? So, that’s tip number two.
Number three is start brand awareness before January. I’ve written this down because sometimes for businesses, it’s quiet in January. January isn’t a great time. January is a time of finding out what you need to do in the business. What you need to … Like, the housekeeping kind of things? What is happening in January? With brand awareness, brand awareness isn’t about getting somebody to buy a product or service or whatever it is that you do. Brand awareness is about telling people this is who I am, this is what I do, this is how I do it and this is why you should buy me, or buy into me, or buy my product or service because I am really good at X, Y, and Z. Yeah?
So, brand awareness is not about selling to people. Brand awareness is about saying this is who we are, this is how we can help you. In January, you might want to be going to new networking events, you might want to be picking up and having coffee and cake with people, you might want to, again, update your website and add some new things on there to tell people about what’s coming for the new year because you’ve planned and you strategised and all that kind of … So, that’s tip number three. Start with brand awareness. Obviously, before January, but in January if that’s a quiet time for you.
Number four is make a list of all the housekeeping duties that you should be doing and I’m not talking about cleaning your house, however, that possibly needs to happen. It does in my house, before Christmas. What I’m talking about is housekeeping with regards to your in-box. Is it full? Do you need to get rid of the emails in there? Do you need to action them? Have a look at … I’ve got some notes here … What I’m talking about is cleaning your inbox, it’s having a look at your desk. Right now, my desk is absolutely chock-a-block with stuff. It’s absolutely everywhere. Now, yes, it is the end of the year, it’s the last week before Christmas, but it’s an absolute state. I know where everything is, which is fine, but I want to de-clutter.
I want to get rid of a lot of stuff. I’ve got a lot of notes, ideas, tips and tricks that I want to do for the new year. I want to be planning all of that kind of stuff in, so that’s one of the things that I want to be de-cluttering. Your desktop, what’s actually on your computer desktop? Now, I’ve seen some people who come to our meetings, and they bring along their apple Mac’s or their laptops or whatever. The amount of stuff that’s sat on the desktop alone, it’s not in a folder, it’s not put away nice and neatly, it’s not safe. They don’t know where it is, they could lose it, all of that kind of stuff. There’s three things that you need to, sort of, have a look at over the Christmas holiday.
The reason why I say these as well, is because number one, when you go through all your emails, and you just clear your inbox, there’s possibly some business in there that you’ve forgotten about, you haven’t actioned, you haven’t emailed that person, or the person said to you, “I don’t want it now, can we do it in January?“, and you haven’t put that in your diary. There could be a little bit of business there already that you haven’t actually had a look at. That’s tip number four, make a list of housekeeping duties that you need to do for your business.
Number five is make sure that your emails are opened and not unsubscribed to in January. Does that make sense? I don’t know about you, but at Christmastime, we receive a lot of emails. We get them from Living Social, we get them from holiday places, we get them from business people trying to sell their final bits and pieces. I’ve got something that I’m promoting at the moment that starts in January. Everybody is getting lots and lots of emails, so don’t be the person who is being unsubscribed to. When you send that email in the new year, everybody unsubscribes, what I’m trying to say is have a think about what you’re going to send to people in the new year.
Sorry, I’m just going to add that person there. Okay.
What are you going to be sending … with regards to are you going to give them some value? Are you going to give them a discount? Money off, even though that we don’t like talking about that kind of thing? What are you going to give them in January to make sure that they don’t unsubscribe from your emails, because that is probably the top place in January where people unsubscribe from emails is because they’re getting an influx, lots of things are happening, and they’re just getting sick of lots and lots of emails coming through. Have a think about what you’re going to share in January with regards to email marketing, who you’re going to share it to, and what you’re going to give them so that it makes them want to stay and makes them want to keep on your email list. That’s tip number five.
Number six, what marketing goals are you trying to achieve for the new year? One of the marketing goals we’re trying to achieve, or, I’m trying to achieve is more blog reads for the new year. We have a certain amount this year, which has actually gone up considerably. I think 30%, just on 30%, from the year before, which is great because we’re blogging more, we giving better content and making sure that I spend more time writing the content. I’m listening to what people have problems with, and I’m writing about that. I’m trying to answer people’s questions. Next year, I want more hits to the website. How am I going to achieve that?
When I have that kind of goal, it’s very focused, it’s very particular, it’s very specific. What goals do you actually want to achieve when it comes to your marketing? With Instagram, how many more people do you want following you? With LinkedIn, how many more connections would you like? With email marketing, how many more subscribers would you like? All of this kind of stuff. How many more people, how many more clients do you want? How many clients in a particular service or product that you deliver? But, be specific is my point. That’s number six, what marketing goals do you want for 2018?
Number seven, the final one. Have a look at what the upcoming events are that are happening in the new year? Are you running your own events? If you are running your own events, get them in the diary, get them on Facebook in an event. Are there conferences that you actually want to go to? Are there conferences that you want to attend? Get them into your diary as well. Are there networking events that you want to go to? What I’m trying to say is start organising yourself, start organising your life when it comes to business so that you know what you’re going to do, you know where you’re going to be, you know who you’re going to be with and what you’re actually going to achieve. You’re sort of planning your first quarter for the new year so that you know what’s happening. It’s a lot easier when you’ve planned instead of trying to scrounge around for content or ideas or … Right, I’m going to put this event on, but you only put it on two or three weeks before it’s actually running. You need a good six weeks. Tell people, the brand awareness side of stuff. Tell people now in January what’s going on.
I hope that helps. These are seven tips, I’m going to just run through them again.
Number one is start planning now. What is it that you want to achieve. What are you going to plan for in 2018?
Number two is develop a marketing strategy so what specific goals do you want to achieve when it comes to 2018? Now, it could be that you plan for the month. It could be that you plan for the quarter. I plan for quarters, I don’t plan for the full year because I don’t know where I’m going to be in six months’ time. I don’t know what products or service that I’m going to have. Nothing changes drastically, but things do change in business and it might be that you want to pull something and put something new on. Have a think about that, that’s number two.
Number three is start brand awareness and start it now bearing in mind that you don’t want people to buy, it’s just about telling people this is who I am, this is what I do, and this is how I can help you, okay? When you get that brand awareness, you are in the forefront of their head.
Number four, make a list of the housekeeping duties that you need to do with regards to your business. That’s cleaning your inbox, cleaning your desktop, cleaning your desk itself, maybe your office. Just make your environment a little bit better for yourself for the new year.
Number five, make sure that your emails are opened and not unsubscribed to. Think about something new, think about something of value that your readers want to read about.
Number six, what marketing goals are you wanting to achieve? Get specific with this, the more specific you are, the better it is to market yourself and know who you want to get in front of. The final one is what up and coming events do you want to go to? Conferences, networking events, are you running your own events? Are you wanting coffee and cake with people? Current customers, new customers, all of that kind of thing.
I hope you found that useful. Eventually I got to you with my technology issues. I don’t know what is happening today. So, there you go.
This is my final Facebook Live for just before Christmas, because it’s Christmas at the weekend, which is very exciting. What I wanted to say was you still have a couple of days left for our Marketing Monthly Masterclasses. If you haven’t seen them, and I’m sure I’ve told you about them before, but if you haven’t’ seen them we’ve now got 12 people signed up, which might not be massive, but actually you’ve got to start somewhere, haven’t you? This is a very brand-new service that we’re providing. The Monthly Marketing Masterclasses is where I am live. You will log on. It starts on the 8th of January. You log on for 45 minutes. [9:45] till half past [10:00], so that you’re ready for the day ahead. On the second Monday of every month.
Every month we’re going to be talking about a particular subject. They’re all on the website, they’re all on the link, which I’ll share just after this Facebook Live. It’s for business owners and marketing managers who want to have somebody to be accountable to. Somebody to have support. Somebody to ask questions and actually have a community of people to ask questions, too. We have a secret Facebook group. We also have a membership area that if you can’t make the date, you can actually go back onto the membership area and you can watch all of the Facebook Lives’ at a different time. The other thing is that we’ve got resources and exercises that we’re going to be sharing with you over a period of time as well.
Every week you’ll be getting something from me. I’ll keep poking you and saying, “Have you done your accountability things? Have you done your actions? What did you get from those actions? What did you see? What did you achieve? What didn’t you achieve? Let’s see if we can tweak them? And, that kind of thing. That’s the Monthly Marketing Masterclasses. As I’ve said, I’ll put them in the link below and I hope you’ve found today’s Marketing Monday useful. I wish you a absolutely fabulous Christmas. It’s going to be my first Christmas in Warrington, so quite excited about that.
I wish you a absolutely fabulous Christmas, if I don’t see you before, have an even better New Year and market yourself all the time.
Marketing is something that’s an ongoing process. Don’t stop, okay? Don’t stop when you get busy. Don’t stop when you don’t know what to do. That’s when you email me, okay?
Have a great time and I’ll speak to you soon. Take care.
One key factor that all businesses should outline and manage is their brand positioning.
Brand positioning is…
the way in which consumer’s view brands in their minds, and therefore it is important for firms to identify the position they wish to adopt within consumer minds. A strategy should then be developed to ensure the brand takes up a specific position within the market which can then be effectively communicated to consumers.
For example, Mercedes and BMW have successfully positioned themselves as the brands of choice for consumer looking for a luxury car that is not quite a Porsche, Ferrari or Lamborghini, but is of higher quality than a VW, Ford and Vauxhall.
This has been done through consistent marketing communications throughout their history, and due to the scale of their business has become ingrained not only in their target audience’s minds, but in all consumers’ minds. People know who they are, what they are selling and if they can afford it or not.
They are positioned extremely well.
One issue some brands experience is when they want to change their deeply ingrained positioning, as it can be very difficult to change consumer perceptions of a brand, especially if it has a specific well-known positioning strategy.
One brand within the same industry that has been trying to do this recently is Ford. Across the UK they have successfully positioned themselves as a mid-level family car manufacturer that is reasonable priced. But in the US they are known as much more exciting due to their Ford GT and American muscle cars, therefore earlier this year they launched a reasonably successful re-positioning campaign to reinvigorate the brand.
They called on consumer to “unlearn” what they knew about the brand and be open-minded to their re-positioning.
This example highlights how it can be difficult to re-position a well-known brand, but if there is a level of history to fall back on, which Ford had due to their heritage of automotive excellence which runs all the way back to Henry Ford, it can be effectively done.
One issue which firms must safeguard against however is brand drift. This is where the positioning of a brand begins to drift away from its intended location. This can lead to brand confusion, whereby consumers become confused by the brands offering and therefore unsure on the position in which it is trying to occupy.
This can have detrimental effects upon revenue and profits, emphasising the importance of always communicating a brands positioning in a clear and simple way the target audience.
Decision Making Process
This also ties into the consumer decision making process, as one of the five main stages of the decision making processes is the evaluation of alternatives. This is where consumers decide between the different options that can solve their problem, but unless brands are positioned effectively they will not even be considered by consumers.
This is because brands are ordered into sets, and unless the brand is within the consumers evoked set, which is the set of brands which the consumer sees as realistic possibilities then they are not even looked into.
These brands are seen as either inept or inert, meaning they are not considered for the final purchase. Thus is it key for firms to ensure they are within their target audiences evoked set, and therefore they are considered within the decision making process.
Equally, it is centrally important that when firms secure a position within consumers evoked sets they are able to maintain that positioning.
Therefore, it is also important that firms protect their positioning, and their brand image, as if their brand image becomes tarnished then their positioning can become compromised. This can have devastating effects upon consumers purchase intentions and therefore must be considered by all brands.
Recent examples of firms implementing such protective measures include Nike dropping long-term partner Maria Sharapova after she failed a drugs test and Ryan Lochte being dropped by Speedo and Ralph Lauren after his shocking run-in with the police during the Rio Olympic Games.
These brands all saw the potential negative impact that supporting these shamed sports stars could have on their reputation and therefore severed all sponsorship ties. Highlighting their commitment to protecting their brand image, as well as their position within the market and more importantly within consumer minds.
Therefore it is essential for all firms to develop, implement and protect their positioning strategy to ensure they are considered within their target audience’s decision making process. This is a complex process, but is hugely rewarding if effectively and thoughtfully implemented.
If you want any help with your brands current positioning or with a re-positioning project feel free to book in for a 30 minute FREE consultation today!
When we train people/businesses in Social Media we recommend certain things to them to make sure they achieve the maximum potential with which ever platform they are using.
We have been off the radar a little due to the amount of work we currently have on and the bookings we are getting in for Social Media Training (x2 Full SM Days and x2 Hands-on Training Sessions in June), which means we haven’t blogged for a while. So I am sorry for that.
We have also been working on our own Marketing Plan/Strategy and have a new product that is currently in Beta. This product not only tells you;
what marketing you need to do during a year but also
how much you could be earning every month and most importantly
who your target audience is
We have hand picked 6 businesses to be our pilots for this new product before its full release but we are confident that it works, it will get you more business, keep you focused on what you have to do and help you to get there.
Sometimes you need to take a step back and work on your business not too much into it. You’ll be seeing our new marketing roll out over the next month. When you see something new, let us know what you think!
This week alone we have learnt a lot about what we need to do to achieve our monthly and yearly objectives.
Many people may be at a loss as to why they should consider hiring a copywriter. Luckily for them we have a new Copywriting page on our web site that explains exactly what a copywriter is, what they can do and why they are so important.
However, it’s all very well and good if you decide to hire a copywriter, but how do you go about choosing the right one?
Here are a few tips to help you choose the perfect copywriter for you and your business…
Determine your key points: Before hiring a copywriter you need to figure out what exactly you want from them. You need to have a good idea about who you are trying to promote to your target audience, what response you are looking for from them and what your Unique Selling Point (USP) is.
Don’t do business over the telephone: It’s always a good idea to arrange to meet your possible copywriter in person so you gain a better understanding of them and them of you. Although people say there is no emotion in business, it is important that you get along with each other as you’ll be working closely together. Make sure the copywriter knows about your business and more importantly sounds interested in it as the more understanding they have of your business, the better they’ll be at writing about it or for it.
Remember ~ you get what you pay for: This speaks for itself, but you will always find someone who can do it cheaper. However, why can they do it cheaper? Do they have experience, do you like them, are they professional ,etc? A good copywriter may charge more, but you’ll get so much more out of it.
So, whether this has put your mind at rest about hiring a copywriter or not, remember the importance of wording in promoting your business and products and do not just rely on a well designed website or logo.
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