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Email Newsletter Benchmarks: Open Rates, CTRs, Subject Lines

Email Newsletter Benchmarks: Open Rates, CTRs, Subject Lines | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Email Marketing - Email newsletters with short subject lines (4-15 characters) had the highest average open rate (15.8%) in 2012, according to MailerMailer's annual Email Marketing Metrics Report.
Don Dea's insight:
  • Email newsletter campaigns sent in the first half of 2012 had an average open rate of 9.7%, and those sent in the second half of the year had an average open rate of 10.0%.
  • Open rate peaked in the first hour after delivery, declined rapidly within the next 19 hours, and gradually diminished thereafter.
  • About half (51.7%) of all opens occurred within the first six hours after delivery. At 18 hours after delivery, three-quarters of total opens had occurred.



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digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
Curated by Don Dea
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Why Marketing-Sales “Alignment” Is No Longer Enough

Why Marketing-Sales “Alignment” Is No Longer Enough | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The diagram below shows why the current model of marketing-sales alignment is inadequate. The bottom portion of the diagram shows the B2B buying process developed by SiriusDecisions. The top portion depicts the two fundamental types of interactions that potential buyers have with companies during the buying process.
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Know Your Power Core to Identify What Helps or Hinders the Work

Know Your Power Core to Identify What Helps or Hinders the Work | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When Product Development or Product Engineering is Your Power Core … The product is the company to the marketplace. Product development groups get the most resources and the most play, and they have the most power. Just look at the organization chart. Metrics are about new products, size of products, getting products out, speed of product development, and competitive progress of products in relation to competitors.

When Sales Is Your Power Core… You are a growth acquisition driven company. The quest for the sale pulls the weight in the company. In these organizations, people are motivated to make the numbers. Performance is frequently measured in short-term sales goals and tar- gets. Sales targets are the strongest and most tracked corporate metrics. “Speed” sales are rewarded, even if they don’t necessarily result in long-term customer profitability. Frequently the organization hasn’t worked together to ensure that the after-sale experience delivers on the promise of the sale.

When Information Technology Is Your Power Core… The explosion of SaaS Companies and continued growth of IT based businesses have made the priorities of these groups the Power Core of their business, driving agendas, priorities and investment. In addition, because the bulk of spending related to IT projects far exceeds other financial requirements, IT has been given power in determining the priorities of the organization—and not just in computer resources. It also has a loud voice in representing, selecting, and enabling IT-dependent projects across the organization. Often these spending requests come through annual planning without a prioritization lens to determine which are critical for customer asset growth and customer experience improvement, as they come in silo-by-silo.
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Why revenues depend on the customer experience you provide?

According to American Express, 7 in 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with organisations they believe provide excellent customer experience (Source: American Express, 2011). Working on matters that make customers more engaged and loyal to your business through better customer experience, will have positive impact on the revenue. There will be a time lag between the initiative and revenues starting to increase, since customers are quick to anger and slow to forgive. That is why customer experience should be in the heart of any business who is looking to thrive in a competitive market environment. And due to time lag on the impact of such efforts, it is better to start sooner rather than later.
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Jeff Oskin's curator insight, May 26, 8:16 AM

Customer experience translates into more revenue This article from Customer Think goes into more detail about the amount of revenue increase you can expect to see when your brand becomes more recognized and trusted by customers.

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Old Technology Never Dies

It’s easy to leave a gaping hole in your product or marketing plan when you dismiss old ideas or technologies. It’s easy to think people using film, or ham radio operators, or backyard gardeners are just a small group of luddites. But you do so at your own risk.
Don Dea's insight:

Remember vinyl records? How about film cameras?

Today vinyl is the fastest growing sector of the music industry. Given up for dead only a few years ago, artists now release on vinyl in addition to digital downloads and CDs. The manufacturers who halted production on turntables are reopening factories and bringing the product line back.

Analog photography, also given up for dead, is making a comeback. One industry study showed that almost 1/3 of the people shooting film are under 35.

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To Be Effective, Your Do Must Match Your Tell

No creature on the planet destroys credibility faster than a pontificating blow-hard of a boss who is great at turning oxygen into over-heated carbon dioxide, but not so great at overcoming the gravitational pull of his posterior to the chair and putting his own words into action.
Don Dea's insight:

7 Tips to Help You Build Credibility as a Leader:

1. Model the Behaviors You Are Preaching: if it’s hard work and commitment to excellence, then you best cultivate an unimpeachable reputation for working hard and pursuing excellence. If it’s focus on the customer, then you need to be logging some significant quality time in front of your customers. Don’t demand it if you’re not living it.

2. There’s Only One Set of Rules: accountability for effort and outcomes must be applied evenly, without exception. It’s the exceptions you make (and that everyone sees) that kill your credibility.

3. The Big Issues Cannot Wait: there’s no getting away with, “that’s an important issue and we should talk about it at the right time.” It’s always the right time to tackle the tough ones.

4. Don’t Pollute the Environment with Dissonance: if you encourage people to make decisions, then let them make and learn from their decisions. The boss who laments that no one makes a decision and then metaphorically clubs anyone over the head who makes a decision without consulting her is polluting the environment with dissonance.

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Thriving at the Speed of Change

Thriving at the Speed of Change | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Learn to Look for Opportunity in Uncertainty. The operative word is “learn.” Our natural reaction to the notion of change in our business model is some combination of fear mixed with a drive to look harder for reasons to rationalize maintaining the status quo. The firms and teams I’m working with who are succeeding in rethinking their businesses are those who have embraced the idea that while change may disrupt the successful approaches of the past, it also opens the door to an almost endless set of new opportunities. They are focused on building the management tools, team talent and approaches needed to explore and test for ideas that stick.
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5 Big Mistakes Managers Make When Developing Their People

The only way to achieve exponentially greater results is to get every member of your team functioning on more cylinders, as individuals and as a team.

Good managers spend at least 10-20% of their time developing their people.

Be sure you’re investing your time well by avoiding these common traps.

5 MISTAKES MANAGERS MAKE WHEN DEVELOPING THEIR PEOPLE

1. FORGET THEY’RE STILL LEARNING TOO

There’s a weird imaginary threshold I see too many managers cross. They creep into “I’ve got this, and now my job is to teach it to you” land.  Almost every manager goes there at some point in their career, and many get stuck in it’s delusional abyss. The only way to be an effective leader is to scurry back to reality as fast as you can. Leadership is never handled. See also, 60 Reasons Leaders Stop Learning.

I’ve learned the hard way that our teams see our flaws and mistakes better than we do. Even if they love you, there are at least 17 reasons they don’t want to lead like you.

Be sure the learning and listening is a two-way street.

2. INVEST ONLY IN THE “HIGH POTENTIALS”

“I don’t have time to develop everyone, so I’ll really invest in the top 5%, maybe even 10%,” is the cry I’ve heard many times. I’m all for giving extra effort the box 9s, goodness knows I’m grateful for every ounce of extra effort folks poured into me as I climbed the ladder. BUT, imagine the possibilities when you tap into the majority of your team, building on everyone’s strengths, and helping them to see themselves as more than “also-rans”?

3. FOCUS ON INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT BUT DON’T DEVELOP THE TEAM

A team of super stars who don’t know how to work as a team, can’t win. The egos get in the way, and conflict sucks the life out of all productivity, and prohibits real creative breakthroughs that involve integrated thinking.

I once worked for an executive who painstaking recruited the very best players in every discipline, and then got us in a room and announced his plan. Our bonuses (a large percentage of our salary, usually stack ranked) would all be exactly the same, based on our performance in his experimental organization. He’d received permission from HR to try it. If we blew it out of the park, he’d get money added to the pool. If we sucked, he’d give it back. Either way, we’d all be paid the same percentage.
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This Is What Real Leaders Do

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. … If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
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The Role of Mood in Inspiring Aligned Behavior

Leaders need to be honest with how things are going – don’t say things are fine when they’re not. Do, however, present the realities from an optimistic viewpoint, not a depressive one.

Even if a bad mood arises, the most effective leaders set that mood aside, and present a kind, pleasant, and non-judging approach in every interaction.
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Market Mapping for Sustainable Growth

Market Mapping for Sustainable  Growth | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Mass market vs. customization

“Lower prices every day” is not a Wal-Mart advertising slogan by accident, but a central element of the company’s branding and value proposition. Hence, the lower right hand corner of the matrix designates the largest mass market, the one with the lowest prices and the most standardization. This is high volume market, the mass of the mass market.

In the USA there’s a company called “The Dollar Store” that occupies that spot. Everything in the store costs, predictably, $1, and the lure is the pricing, as it’s obvious to everyone that this is not the place to be looking for high quality. In fact, the dollar store business model can exist only because of super-high volume manufacturing in massive, highly automated, digitally-controlled factories that crank out impressive (or appalling) volumes of plastics.
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CRM Software Sales Grow 13 Percent to 23 Billion Worldwide

CRM Software Sales Grow 13 Percent to 23 Billion Worldwide | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The top 10 vendors accounted for more than a 60% share of the CRM business in 2014, according to Gartner, which also detected a pick-up in business among pure-play vendors from organizations bulking up digital marketing and customer experience capabilities.

North America remains by far the largest market for CRM systems, registering more than half of all sales. It was followed by Western Europe with a quarter of the market. The key reason for this lopsided geographical skew is that the cloud infrastructure for SaaS deployment is more mature in these regions.

The communications, media, and IT services industries led CRM software activity in 2014 with more than 23% of buys. Manufacturing concerns, including consumer packaged goods companies, were close behind, Gartner reported.
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Email Marketing A True Diamond in the Rough

Although click-through rates remain dull, the channel still dazzles in terms of engagement.

Every channel has a certain quality that brings a twinkle to marketers' eyes. But when it comes to generating engagement, email is simply a cut above the rest. According to Ascend2's “Email Marketing Trends” report, 63% of marketing, sales, and business employees list increased engagement as their top email marketing objective. Other goals include increased lead generation (51%), improved customer acquisition or retention (43%), and enhanced lead nurturing (35%). But these objectives aren't just glitz and glamour. Oh no. Employees are actually meeting their goals. In fact, 89% of respondents consider their email marketing somewhat or very successful in terms of achieving important objectives, compared to just 11% who view their email marketing somewhat or very unsuccessful.
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Cmon, Touch Me

Cmon, Touch Me | digitalNow | Scoop.it
TouchMedia is specifically designed to equip the substantial amounts of offline media used by brands with easy ways for consumers to interact with those brands. On TV, radio, direct mail, or even billboards, a keyword or QR code or Shazam-like audio identification is provided to let people instantly engage in live chats to pose questions or place orders.

“You're looking at an ad for a new car on TV or on your tablet and you send a text and are automatically put in touch with a live agent that knows everything about the product,” says Yann Motte, SVP of strategy and business development at TouchCommerce. “In the consumer world, it's all about simplicity: Text the keyword, click the link.”
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Letting Go of Your Need to Be the Smartest Person in the Room

One of the most common and damaging of a leader’s blind-spots is the compulsion to regularly provide evidence that he/she is the smartest person in the room.

Many well-intentioned leaders are adversely impacted by this bad habit without realizing it. The impact of what is often not much more than one or more behavioral tics includes stifling creativity and innovation and derailing any hopes of developing a high performance environment.
Don Dea's insight:

3 Common Smartest Person in the Room Behaviors:

Do any of these feel familiar?

  • The Final Word Habit. Leaders who struggle with smartest person in the roomsyndrome often operate with a false belief that being in charge means always having the answer. This drives the individual to assert his/her opinion as the final word or last word and it teaches people to suppress their own ideas and wait for solutions from the person in charge. If you’re frustrated with your team’s lack of creativity or active discussion about ideas, you might be someone who has taught them to wait for the last word.
  • The Eyes…and Face and Voice Say it All! Some leaders telegraph their smartest person in the room persona through their verbal and non-verbal responses to the commentary or ideas of others. I’ve observed senior managers who portray what is perceived as disinterest or disdain for the commentary of team members by interrupting them in mid-sentence or maintaining a facial expression that seems to ask: “Why are you using up my valuable oxygen with this stupid idea?” Of course, the leader may not be intending to communicate disregard or disdain however, we impute this less than noble intent based on our interpretation of the visible and audible cues. If your team members are less than enthusiastic about sharing new ideas and approaches, perhaps you’ve inadvertently shot them down too many times.
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At Least 10 Unnatural Acts of Misguided Management

At Least 10 Unnatural Acts of Misguided Management | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1. He only lied when his lips were moving. The CEO announcing to all of a firm’s employees, “there will be no layoffs,” over a pizza lunch in the warehouse. Ten days later, there were layoffs.

2. Coordination is over-rated. An executive team who despised each other so much, they never met. What do you think happened to this business? You’re right
Don Dea's insight:

3. It turns out, people have to want to change. The manager who early on in his career believed he could change a brilliant but difficult person into a brilliant and not so difficult person. (Crap, I was that manager.)

4. Rats, I should have picked the other door! The executive of the market leading firm who defiantly announced to his team, We will not play in the low end of this market. There are no margins there. We own the high end” It turns out that when the high-end disappears due to the disruptive competitor and you have no viable response, there are no margins when there are no sales.

5. Homer Simpson said it best: “Doh!” When the team cannot answer the question, “How many customers or prospective customers were consulted in the making of this strategy?”with anything greater than zero, you’ve got a problem.

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Push Beyond “M” for Mediocrity

Why do we fail with our initiatives (projects, strategy, leadership) in the workplace so regularly when the causes of failure are well documented and the practices to minimize the chances of failure so well identified?
Don Dea's insight:

The formula for leading effectively isn’t a secret kept locked in a vault with the combination known only to two people. In fact, the principles have been understood for a few millennia. And for us today in our firms, the behaviors of miserable managers and lousy leader are well understood and at last count, there were seemingly 4 quintillion resources offering input, training and help on how to lead effectively.

For strategy, too many of these programs fail not just because they were poor ideas (usually not the case), but rather because the process of execution broke down. People fail to coordinate the work necessary to properly and effectively bridge ideas to execution. While not to minimize the complexity of executing on strategy, the issues of communication, coordination, feedback, adaptation and so forth are fairly easy to grok.

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What Is a “Fully Engaged Customer”?

If you are in marketing, you will also want to be listening to customer conversations. You’ll not only find what is relevant to them, but be able to take that information and use to to craft your marketing messages and in messaging, you’ll be able to combat sales objections, product questions, and really be of service with your content. That will make you relevant in your customer’s eyes and entice them to be fully engaged.
Don Dea's insight:

What Is a “fully engaged customer”? That’s a very good question! Some of the answer depends on who you ask.  Marketing has one opinion, Sales generally another and then Customer Service might see a fully engaged customer from a whole different point of view.

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How to Stop Customer Satisfaction Drip, Dripping Away

In today’s world of dwindling product / service differentiation and an overload of choice, which I already spoke about in the last post entitled “Do your Shoppers face a purchasing dilemma? How to give the right customer choice every time”, your customers want to be made to feel cared-for, not cheated. Find new ways to surprise and delight them and they will remain loyal, even if you have to increase your prices. As L’Oreal continues to remind its consumers every time they buy one of their products, “They’re worth it”.
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What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

Here are a few ways to safeguard against copyright infringements:

1) Use photos you already own. Even if you’re not a professional photographer, you may be able to create engaging images with the quick click of your iPhone. Some of my favorite pictures on my personal blog are photos of my kids. I’m also a fan of images in the moment when I am writing about day to day life. This post included a quick shot of my messy desk. Personal images can bring your words to life for a reader. If you are a fledging photographer, sharing your photos will enhance your work. See Mark Miller’s new photo blog, which showcases breathtaking images Mark has taken during his travels.

2) Purchase photos. One of our clients sources every image from iStock, investing to ensure the most visually appealing photo for every post. While this creates an additional budget line item for his online influence building efforts, he saves time on fruitless searches and has complete confidence that he is adhering to copyright laws. Our team uses a monthly package from fotolia.com to source images for our clients and posts.
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Relationship Currency Transforms a Transactional World

Three Powerful Lessons

Our beliefs shape our experience.

It is said that experience shapes our beliefs. In fact it is the opposite. Our beliefs shape our experience.

Because I believed that relationship currency is worth more than money, I didn’t just walk away when I found out I had been outbid. Instead, I began to think creatively about alternatives.

If I had a different belief and had given up, I would have had a different experience.

You won’t always get back what you give, but give anyway.

Several years ago I donated several copies of my book Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision to this fire department. I had no expectation of getting something in return and in fact, never mentioned it to anyone. I never would have guessed that my relationship with that fire department would become the lynchpin to buying a home.

People talk about the payoff from investing in relationships; and it’s true, it’s a good idea to nuture relationships. But you never know which relationship is going to “payoff.” It’s possible none will. It’s better to just help people out because it’s the right thing to do, without an expectation that you’ll get something in return.

I have found I am a happier person when I give more than I take and when I can make a difference in another person’s life. And sometimes, just sometimes, what you put out does come back to you from unexpected sources.

Have faith in the potential of the next generation.

This experience has renewed my faith in humanity and in the future that lies in the hands of this next generation – that not all decisions are being made solely on a transactional basis, and that the currency of relationship can be as strong a force as the dollar.

I’ve told this story to many people who have been deeply touched, and I decide to share it more widely. We hear so much about all the things that are going wrong and not enough about the good things. There is much more than I was able to include in a blog post length, and the story keeps unfolding and gets better. I hope this helps show that although it’s easy to focus on negativity because we are bombarded with it, when you look around, you can see there is a lot of goodness and generosity in this world.
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Daily practices for exceptional leadership

Identify behaviors you need to improve upon: Leadership is mastered through your thoughts and ultimately, your behaviors – including how you communicate, how you move, and how you respond. Maybe you need to listen better, connect more, become more confident in your skin, or make sure you express your appreciation more often. The behaviors you choose are the seemingly small things that make great leaders. I once worked with a client who wanted to stop interrupting others, and she found that when she did this, it made a profound impact on how performed as a leader.

Break your behaviors down into daily practices: Its best to begin with one or two behaviors at a time. Practice them daily. Stay accountable to your practice in some way (ask a friend, your manager, a colleague or your coach to hold you accountable). Plan to spend 6 months or more with daily effort at embodying your practice; it will get easier. Ask for feedback as you practice: are others noticing the changes you’re making? Based on what you hear, adjust and carry on with your practice.
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Marketing Strategy for the 2015 Customer

Marketing Strategy for the 2015 Customer | digitalNow | Scoop.it
But not all of the things that everyone gets excited about sticks around or is successful,” Henderson said. “The challenge is to know when not to overinvest or underinvest. I think marketers need to be thinking more about how they can strategically nurture some of these new channels. If it works out, promote it into a standard part of their marketing mix. If not, kill it.”

He warned that marketers should have long-term goals that may not produce the most desirable results right away. But how can marketers determine what's working and what's not?

“Both analytics and gut instinct are important to determine when you have a winning strategy,” he stressed. “The best marketing analysts who I know have great instincts. Reports and analytics don't just pop out answers. Oftentimes the real insights that you get are driven by a smart analyst who's following her instinct.” From that, Henderson said that marketers can pinpoint what's causing issues or, conversely, what might be profitable. Bottom line: You need good instincts and good data to make a good strategy.

“Blend the art and creativity with the data and the tech,” he said on a final note. “That will be the challenge of the future. The right mix will produce a successful strategy.”
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CRM Software Sales Grow 13 Percent to 23 Billion Worldwide

CRM Software Sales Grow 13 Percent to 23 Billion Worldwide | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The top 10 vendors accounted for more than a 60% share of the CRM business in 2014, according to Gartner, which also detected a pick-up in business among pure-play vendors from organizations bulking up digital marketing and customer experience capabilities.

North America remains by far the largest market for CRM systems, registering more than half of all sales. It was followed by Western Europe with a quarter of the market. The key reason for this lopsided geographical skew is that the cloud infrastructure for SaaS deployment is more mature in these regions.

The communications, media, and IT services industries led CRM software activity in 2014 with more than 23% of buys. Manufacturing concerns, including consumer packaged goods companies, were close behind, Gartner reported.
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The Value of Incremental Innovation

The Value of Incremental Innovation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
A focus on incremental innovations, and the activities that source and develop them, make sense in the following context:

Pipeline Management: Too often I see organizations filling an innovation pipeline with large-scale, broadly scoped, long-term innovations that leave their programs vulnerable. I say the world “vulnerable” with purpose. Innovation programs are often politically sensitive and need to be extremely conscious of the constant pressure to undermine their achievements and goals (read this article for more details). By having a pipeline that is balanced, there is a better chance that at least some activities will be implemented, balancing out some of the failures which you are sure to encounter.
Don Dea's insight:
  • Starting a program: Often leaders of new innovation programs are tempted to focus on big thinking. And why not? It is sexy, cool and fun! The reality is that new programs will face some healthy skepticism by their leadership, especially within established business units, so it is important to get some runs on the board. By quickly demonstrating success, even with smaller ideas, you are able to create an impression of momentum and a build towards bigger ticket thinking.
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Do You Really Want Disruptive Innovation? | Innovation Management

Do You Really Want Disruptive Innovation? | Innovation Management | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Leaders reference changing market dynamics as mid-term concepts, rather than immediate burning needs that threaten the ongoing existence of their business
Don Dea's insight:

What company wouldn’t want to come out with the next iPhone, online bookstore or Swiffer mop? In the right circumstances disruptive innovation can be a valid path to drive the long-term survival and growth of a mature organization. But Anthony Ferrier argues that most companies are not in that environment. They talk (a lot) about pursuing disruptive innovation, but the reality is that they don’t really want, or are able, to support it.

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