It’s pretty much a truism that you need to be keyed in to the latest digital marketing statistics and the hottest trends for your digital marketing strategy to remain effective in 2021 and beyond. Whether you rely on SEO, social media, content marketing, paid online advertising, or email marketing to generate leads for your business and convert users into paying customers, our carefully compiled set of statistics is just what you need to start the year.
These marketing statistics have been divided across seven key trends, both in the infographic below and in the list that follows it, helping you zero in on your primary marketing channel of interest. On the other hand, like most modern marketers, if your campaign strategy involves multiple channels, this division should help you update your notes more clearly.
Interestingly, some of these 2021 digital marketing statistics continue to uphold lessons learned in recent years, e.g., LinkedIn remains a more effective social media platform than any other for B2B marketers, and Google continues to dominate internet search traffic.
There are many other points, though, that might upend conventional thinking and, thus, provide the savvy marketer with that extra edge needed in the cutthroat world of digital marketing. How about the fact that segmented email marketing campaigns, which most marketers still don’t seem to have woken up to, can get you a 700% or more increase in ROI? Or that the future of digital marketing lies in marketing automation and programmatic advertising, both billion-dollar industries already in 2021?
The infographic also has a bunch of marketing statistics that could act as direct practical tips to hone your marketing campaigns, including deciding on the ideal length for your blog posts and emails or making your SEO tactics more effective.
So what are you waiting for? Jump right in and start planning for an even more successful 2021!
Content marketing is followed by artificial intelligence and machine learning—both of which are no doubt also the future of digital marketing. Social media marketing comes in at a distant fourth. Does your marketing budget allocation reflect these global trends?
These figures from late 2016 to early 2017 are likely to have since moved even more in favor of digital marketing, which continues to attract larger shares of companies’ marketing budgets.
Global advertising spend has been constantly increasing since 2010, but not all mediums see the same level of investment. Online marketing trends show that the share of digital advertising is rapidly rising at the cost of traditional mediums like television.
Digital advertising spending worldwide stood at approximately $194.6 billion in 2016. This 72% increase is driven by advances in technology and consumer preferences. In 2017, all digital advertising subsectors recorded healthy growth trends of close to or more than 15%.
The digital marketing software industry, which is essentially responsible for getting users to see your ads, is growing at a breakneck pace too. Fortunately, this massive investment is driving the kind of innovation that will ensure you get more for your marketing budget.
According to online marketing statistics, the engaging and concise format used by infographics to present important data makes them the content of choice in digital marketing. If you want to stand out in the crowd online, spending some time and effort on infographics—much like the digital marketing trends 2020 infographic accompanying these data points—can earn you more eyeballs.
Virtual reality and augmented reality ads deliver immersive brand stories to consumers that are likely to be retained much longer. Technology has evolved to make production of such ads cheaper and more accessible to businesses of all sizes.
Programmatic ad buying, which refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising (as opposed to the traditional process that involves RFPs, human negotiations, and manual insertion orders), is the biggest trend in online marketing. While the current global numbers might not be proportionate to those in the US, there’s little doubt that this will be one of the dominating trends in the next few years.
The word Google has long been used synonymously with online search, and it continues to lead the pack by miles. In the case of mobile search traffic, Yahoo clocks in with only 2% and Bing scores 1%. For organic traffic as well, Google remains the best bet by far, with Yahoo accounting for about 3%. However, as much as 30% of the paid traffic comes from alternative search engines.
This makes it important to evaluate the benefits of getting your website ranked organically in the digital marketing landscape, vis-à-vis paying Google to stick your page at the top of the results with the Sponsored tag. With as many as 80% of your potential audience ignoring your link in the search results, you might not be getting your money’s worth, creating distrust of your brand in the process.
Even though we consider social media to be the main driving force behind everything that happens online, search engines have them beaten in one category: digital trends for 2021 indicate that searches drive up to 300% more traffic to content sites than social media, once again showing the importance of optimizing your content for searches.
Another important point that should encourage you to invest in strong SEO is the fact that 93% of all website visits start with a search engine. Thus, ranking your page high on the list for a particular search term can prove to be more useful than any form of advertising.
After they’ve scrolled past the ads, 60% of those searching for something online using a search engine will click on one of the top three results. In fact, 75% of people never even scroll past the first page of search engines. The implications this will have on SEO trends are obvious—aim for the first page, especially one of the top three spots.
While cold-calling and sending mailings might be necessary in some channels, a possible improvement in conversions by 8.5x should encourage even the most traditional businesses to give SEO a try when approaching customers.
Internet search statistics help us understand the market’s inefficiencies, providing opportunities to tap into them. 50% of all searches are longer than four words, and they can commonly be shortened. Most people will search for complete terms, such as “what’s the weather like in LA,” instead of simply typing “weather LA.” Those dealing with SEO need to take these marketing industry trends into account, no matter how infuriating they might be.
The current version of Google’s algorithm seems to prioritize longer pages over the ones with shorter text. In addition, content with over 1,000 words is more likely to receive more shares and links than shorter content. If you want to keep up with the trends, you’ll need the best rank tracker.
If you haven’t realized the importance of local SEO, this is as stark as it can get: 80% of the consumers online are trying to find information on local stores, events, and locations. An important step in businesses’ digital marketing 2021 strategy should be catering to these customers.
Local search stats show that 50% of consumers who conduct a local search visit the store they found within a day. This piece of data refers to smartphone users. The number drops to 34% when it comes to desktop and tablet users.
The SEO statistics for 2021 show that 18% of local searches lead to a purchase on the same day of the search. The number of non-local searches that lead to a purchase within a 24-hour period is 7%, showing the advantage of optimizing your page for local searches.
Digital trends for 2021 are showing more than half of all smartphone users finding a new business or a product while searching online for something else. Websites that are optimized for mobile use, in terms of both SEO and compatibility, are far more likely to have new visitors happen upon the website by accident.
Three out of four consumers would like the ads they see customized to their location. Users declare that they’d find ads that refer to their city, zip code, or close neighborhood much more useful and compelling.
This may not be the latest in digital marketing news, but having your business’s positive online reviews front and center will aid in your store’s traffic. This applies to both online and physical stores, as 88% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from family and friends.
These are the kinds of digital marketing trends that are easy to get on board with. Even though Google remains silent on this aspect, SEO experts say that images play a major role in the algorithm.
Having more links on the page leads to a better website ranking. Stats show that the first 10 results usually have 6 times more links than those that are below this rank and belong on the second page of the results.
Pages with top results share one thing in common: they are extremely fast to load. The websites ranked 10 or below are usually 17% slower. Investing in infrastructure can very well have a place in your overall digital marketing 2021 strategy.
In addition, Google says that pages taking 10 seconds to load have 123% higher bounce rates compared to those that take less than 5 seconds to load.
Pages that include videos will commonly cause Google to pull the thumbnail and present it next to the result, setting the page apart from the crowd and leading to double the search traffic in some cases. An engaging visual element has a constant presence in the top digital marketing trends for 2021.
As of September 2018, Facebook had an average of 1.49 billion active daily users and 2.27 billion active monthly users. However, while Facebook remains the most popular social media platform globally, the rate of growth of its active users has begun to saturate.
Most of this growth—from 3 million to 6 million—took place between the first quarter of 2016 and the third quarter of 2017. Since then, the number of advertisers seems to have stabilized. That’s still an impressive figure, though.
Facebook earned a whopping $39.9 billion from advertising in 2017. Related trends in digital marketing include the fact that the average revenue per user has grown significantly in recent years, and that mobile advertising revenue accounts for more than 75% of the social network’s total advertising revenue.
This says it all! Facebook remains one of the strongest weapons in the marketing arsenal for businesses worldwide. In fact, around 67% of marketers still consider it the most important social media platform to attract customers.
Nearly half of all marketers increased their Facebook ad activities in the last year, and 67% plan on increasing their use of Facebook ads over the next 12 months. This ties in to the trends in digital marketing showing the number of advertisers on Facebook stabilizing, even though the platform’s ad revenue keeps rising.
Along with this, 23% of marketers surveyed were unsure of how their reach has changed. Whether Facebook will continue to remain the darling of marketers is one of the hottest topics in digital advertising. If the global reach promised by the platform isn’t achieved, there may be some changes in some of the top digital marketing trends in 2021.
For those who continue to rely on Facebook, a noteworthy stat is that Facebook ads with custom audience targeting have been found to have as high as 387% greater conversion rates than those that use only demographic targeting.
According to the data on digital marketing found in the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, while more than half of the marketers surveyed agreed that the organic reach of Facebook had dropped since 2017, Instagram’s utility showed a 54% gain, pushing it up to second place among the platforms used by marketers.
The Instagram juggernaut is not about to slow down any time soon, as more than half of the marketers surveyed confirmed they would be increasing their total ad spend on the platform. They are obviously getting a bigger bang for their buck on Instagram!
Instagram has shown a steadier growth in the number of monthly active users than any other large social media platform. By sustaining its impressive growth from 800 million monthly active users in 2017 to over 1 billion users worldwide, Instagram impacted some of the top digital marketing trends of 2019. Everyone, from large global brands to local politicians, jumped onto the Instagram bandwagon.
By the end of 2018, Instagram’s worldwide net mobile advertising revenues are expected to have crossed $6.84 billion, up from $1.86 billion in 2016. These numbers speak for themselves—marketers have seen the benefits of using this platform.
The corresponding figure in 2017 was $4.10 billion. Most digital marketing predictions believe this exponential growth was driven partly by new product updates and features and partly by Instagram’s strategic push toward newer markets like Southeast Asia.
While Twitter’s 325 million or so active users might seem like a massive increase from its 30 million just eight years ago, it hasn’t maintained its speed of growth after hitting the 300 million mark way back in the first quarter of 2015.
Much like Facebook, digital marketing trends show that Twitter hasn’t let its advertising revenue be significantly affected by the slowing rate of newly added users. Its 2018 third-quarter figures were nearly a 30% jump from the corresponding figures for 2017’s third quarter.
That Twitter has managed to maintain its impressive advertising revenue comes as no surprise when one realizes that marketers continue to rest their faith in the network’s ability to sell products and services in 280 characters or less.
Interestingly, mobile advertising has a much bigger share of the revenue pie for Twitter than other social media platforms. We can safely assume that digital advertising trends in 2021 will continue to take advantage of how well Twitter is suited to mobile use.
Twitter users, in large numbers, confess to having either bought a product or service they’ve come across on Twitter or told their friends about it. This type of chain reaction is exactly what advertisers are after.
This statement comes from Jack Dorsey, one of the co-founders of Twitter. Digital marketing trends for 2021 show that the pleasure in having your concerns addressed by a business’s official Twitter account hasn’t dulled yet. Consumers expect the businesses they patronize to be on Twitter and want them to respond as quickly as possible.
Another major factor that has contributed to Twitter’s steadily high ad revenue is that users are viewing through or clicking on ads in much higher numbers. Better use of images, memes, hashtags, polls, and chats are just some of the ways in which brands have learned to engage users better.
The year has been good for LinkedIn, bringing it within breathing distance of Instagram. While many characteristics of the network keep it from becoming as widely popular as Instagram or Facebook, its relative reliability means it will likely play a big role in future B2B digital marketing trends in 2021.
LinkedIn has a return rate of about 50%, which is lower than the typical rate of 80% found at the other major social networks. However, the network continues to add new users at a brisk pace when many other networks seem to be slowing down, with over 100 million new users signing up in just the last two years.
As mentioned, LinkedIn definitely stands out when analyzing B2B digital marketing trends for 2021. About two-thirds of B2B buyers are believed to rely on online research before making a purchase, and a huge chunk of them log on to LinkedIn to collect the information they require.
It’s little wonder that more than 90% of B2B marketers find LinkedIn more worthwhile than other networks. LinkedIn is a serious platform where useful content is more appreciated than photos of family vacations and forwarded comics.
Creating interest in one’s product or service is what every marketing campaign is about, and one of the emerging trends in digital marketing shows LinkedIn remaining convincingly ahead of other major social networks in this regard. Users seem to trust information on LinkedIn significantly more than they do on Facebook or Twitter.
While this figure might seem measly compared to what other major networks have to offer, there are certain characteristics of this network that make it ideal for B2C marketing.
When compared to the over 50 million businesses advertising on Facebook, this represents a significant opportunity for marketers to stand out and reach the right target audience.
Despite having fewer advertisers, Pinterest generates ad revenue that’s comparable to most other social networks. Digital marketing future trends also predict that the next few years will be quite lucrative for the company. Are marketers getting a bigger bang for their buck here?
Pinterest is also one of those networks where a very large majority of the users prefer mobile access. This ties in with the internet surfing habits of the younger demographics, whom Pinterest typically caters to.
Pinterest users seem to have more tolerance and trust for advertising than users on other networks, with two-thirds admitting that they found new brands to follow after coming across them for the first time on Pinterest.
This is one of the latest marketing trends that you need to take advantage of. For purchases ranging from a new scarf to a house, Pinterest is the best source of inspiration. 72% of users say Pinterest inspires them to shop when they aren’t actually looking for anything. 66% of users buy something after seeing a brand’s Pins.
If you’re wondering about Pinterest’s ROI, you’ll be pleased to hear that, on average, those advertising on the platform double it. This is generally on par with the ROI you can expect on other popular networks.
One of the more surprising emerging trends in digital marketing is that a quarter of all retail website referral traffic is driven by Pinterest. If, as an advertiser, you are still wondering whether you should include Pinterest in your marketing campaign, this info should be more than enough to persuade you. The algorithm behind Pinterest’s effectiveness in persuading users to buy what they see advertised is a well-kept secret that every other social network would love to get hold of.
WhatsApp is one of the few platforms that has maintained its rate of active-user growth over the last few years. This number stood at just 300 million in 2017. But what’s more impressive is that WhatsApp already has a presence in over 180 countries, despite being a relatively new entrant in the market. When it comes to digital marketing, it’s worth seeing what future trends emerge from this platform.
A large majority of SMBs agree that WhatsApp is a major part of their relations with customers and clients. 84% of those selling goods and services on a small and medium scale find the direct communication they achieve through the app to be an essential part of their success.
This figure from Q3 of 2018 is, in fact, a slight drop from the 191 million daily active users the app saw in Q1 of the same year. This slowdown, at a number that’s quite low by the standards of popular networking or messaging apps, must be alarming for Snapchat’s management. Something interesting to note for the digital marketing landscape, outside North America and Western Europe, the highest Snapchat traffic comes from Saudi Arabia.
Clever advertisements, either in the form of a short video or a series of photos, are the way advertisers attract the attention of Snapchatters. When you think about it, Snapchat is the perfect platform to draw new customers in, as most people won’t sit through a commercial that’s longer than 30 seconds. Given the low focus of many marketers for this platform, smart advertising has the potential to be extremely profitable here.
Digital marketing trends show that most marketers haven’t succeeded in their Snapchat video-based campaigns, as users tend to find them obnoxious and annoying, especially if brands try to appeal to younger generations by using memes or other cringe-worthy methods. However, some marketers, such as the Washington Post, have managed to get the best out of this platform and use the video function in order to maintain and improve their brand’s status as an authoritative news source.
With nearly $28 billion in revenue in 2018, video marketing is well on its way to becoming one of the most lucrative global industries. Digital marketing trends for 2021 suggest that this pace will actually pick up, with the industry reaching $47.89 billion in revenue by the year 2022.
Online video statistics show that before making an online purchase, nearly half of all shoppers search the web for videos of the product they intend on buying. When you’re not able to see the product in person, as you would in a shop, there’s no better way to ensure you receive the item you want.
According to data, 81% of those seeking to advertise their business have recognized the advantages video marketing offers. Of the businesses that still haven’t adapted to the new marketing trends, 65% plan on doing so in the near future. Video usage statistics for the purpose of marketing are definitely going to show much higher numbers in the years to come.
Nearly 60% of all video views on the internet originate from mobile users. This data includes all video platforms, including Netflix, YouTube, and Dailymotion. Even though some of them (such as Netflix) don’t allow ads, it is safe to assume that they will at some point in the future. Mobile users are not able to avoid ads using third-party apps like desktop users are, proving once again that this is the market advertisers should set their sights on.
Based on current trends in digital marketing, by 2021, Facebook will be generating more than $9.5 billion in revenue just from its video ad service. And this year’s expected revenue, from video ads alone, is nearing $4.5 billion. These numbers are a clear indicator of the rise of this type of advertising.
Considering the fact that YouTube’s algorithm shows an ad roughly every 10 minutes, we can easily see the potential that this medium has for advertisers. Even when users with Adblock are excluded from the equation, the number of potential customers remains mind-boggling.
This data can play a big role in future marketing industry trends, considering nearly 90 million of the US’s mobile internet users are accessing YouTube so often. For the second year in a row, mobile video browsing stats are projected to beat desktop use by a margin of over 10%.
The better engagement and connections provided by video ads continue to make more and more advertisers join the YouTube bandwagon. It’s not just new advertisers who are signing up; existing ones are putting in more money, too. For YouTube’s top 100 advertisers, the latest marketing trends show their average spend increasing by 60% year on year.
Ever since YouTube changed ownership and a new ad algorithm was implemented, the platform has seen a steady rise in ad revenue. When Google acquired the company, advertisers gained the ability to target most YouTube viewers by gender, age, and location, as opposed to just being able to target them by their video history, at the cost of just a few cents per view.
The increasing power of social media influencers is nearly the biggest trend in online marketing. In addition to standard YouTube ads, some companies choose to pay YouTubers directly for advertisements. This type of endorsement is the most common in sports, but it’s also seen in various other niches. However, video marketing stats show that the majority of consumers have more trust in Pewdiepie’s product recommendations than they do in Rihanna’s or David Beckham’s.
How’s that for perspective? Facebook has a little over 2 billion monthly active users, Twitter has 336 million. Email reaches more than 80% of the world’s adult population, giving any brand a much wider reach than other channels—email marketing doesn’t drive all of the latest marketing trends, but it has always been a powerful marketing tool.
Yes, that’s per day! This 23% steady growth rate—especially for a channel that has a deep penetration to begin with—is very impressive. As the internet reaches people who have been deprived of it until now, email usage is the one thing that is sure to keep increasing.
The convenience offered by mobile devices to check one’s email on the go, and even reply to it, will always impact marketing industry trends. More than half of the global email users are already using their mobile devices to access their email, either all or part of the time.
An equal number intends to maintain their email marketing allocation. Marketers have realized that their budget is still better used with email than other channels like online ads, search marketing, or direct mail.
Despite the availability of the many new and innovative advertising channels, one of the leading digital marketing trends for 2021 will be a significant majority of US businesses continuing to rely on email marketing. Though these and several of the following figures relate to the US, the trends hold broadly in most areas with free markets.
This will have been an increase of nearly 50% since 2014 ($2.07 billion) and is as clear a sign as any that email marketing is nowhere near obsolete, something many had claimed in the age of social media. Remember, this is a figure just for the US market.
Online marketing trends show that the most basic error marketers still commit is ignoring opportunities to use personalization and segmentation. There are many tools available today to get this done easily, but a surprisingly high number of marketers haven’t begun to do so.
The second most common error—made by as many as 70% of businesses—is sending out too high a frequency of emails. The quantity of emails you send out is not important, the quality is.
The segmentation-based digital marketing trends ensure notably better email open rates and significantly better click-through rates. Even a back-of-the-envelope calculation would tell you how big a difference to your marketing campaign these improved rates can make in absolute numbers.
Even more importantly, the email marketing conversion rate—the actual monetary value derived from your interaction with customers—can be as high as 208% when you use targeting instead of sending the same emails to everyone.
This is the proof in the pudding. Digital marketing trends show that a little effort in segmenting your outgoing email can result in significant revenue gains. It’s not just the number of customers who get converted—evidence suggests that these converted customers end up spending high amounts on purchases based on the information you provide them.
A triggered email is a response to an action taken by a user and, hence, more relevant. These types of emails also showcase the power of marketing automation. Welcome emails are one of the most common types of triggered communication.
This is why email marketing and the online marketing trends it inspires continue to matter. Beyond all these marketing facts and stats, you are looking for ROI. Email marketing’s ROI is better than all other digital channels of marketing, including social media, the darling of many marketers. This means that email should never be missing from your marketing strategy.
Email marketing statistics show that consumers prefer to be contacted by businesses through email. Email gives customers the choice of opening a message, while most other channels do not, and therefore feels less intrusive.
Digital marketing trends have shown a slight increase in the average conversion rate for search in the last two years. On the other hand, the average conversion rate for display is 0.77%, which has fallen slightly. This is, perhaps, a sign that display advertisers need to pay more attention to placements and audience optimization.
Pay-per-click advertising has replaced guesswork with powerful, targeted marketing. According to the latest PPC statistics, 64.6% of people click on Google ads when they’re searching an item to buy online. There’s no wonder then that many marketers, especially in the B2C segment, see a lot of value in using paid search as part of their digital marketing strategy in 2021.
There was a time when ad blocking used to be a niche phenomenon used by only a small group of people. Not anymore—the statistics show that most savvy internet users resort to ad blocking, with the figure having reached as high as 30% by 2018. The practice is heavily skewed toward desktops and laptops and is less common on smartphones.
It is hardly shocking that consumers find some forms of digital advertising more overwhelming or intrusive in nature. This data will likely impact digital advertising trends in 2021. In addition, mobile ads come as a very close second with a disapproval rating of 70%, followed by video ads that play before content loads at 57%.
This should make smart marketers happy. Most users say that they aren’t against all ads. In fact, 83% agree that it’s just the obnoxious ads they want to block, and 57% say that search engine ads are actually valuable and useful. The future of digital marketing lies in presenting your ads to the consumer in a smarter and more professional way.
In fact, the second point in this ranking—proving the ROI of their marketing activities—is considered the top challenge by only 39% of marketers, with other points being the main focus for even fewer respondents to the survey. As a marketer, if you have solved this conundrum, you’re already doing better than the majority of your competitors.
More traditional marketing methods like direct mail, telemarketing, email marketing, and events give results nowhere near as effective in creating brand awareness or generating leads as the new marketing trends like content marketing, social media, and SEO.
Savvy marketers know that the effective conversion of leads into customers ensures that most of the other benefits, like increased traffic and better marketing ROI, will follow. Therefore, it’s understandable that devising the right strategy for conversion is the priority for the majority of marketers surveyed.
If you thought marketing automation tools are used only by the most tech-savvy companies, one of the most widely accepted digital marketing predictions of 2021 should surprise you. Global marketing automation tech revenue was already quite substantial at $11.4 billion in 2017. What’s more remarkable is that it’s likely to more than double based on its current pace of growth, reaching $25.1 billion by 2023.
Other commonly used features include lead nurturing (84%), cross-channel campaign management (82%), and integrations with other software (CRM, mobile, social media, etc.) for centralizing customer intelligence (80%).
In addition, companies that automate lead management see a 10% or higher bump in revenue in six to nine months’ time. Employing the right marketing automation tools will play a big role among emerging trends in digital marketing.
Traditional marketing channels (like TV ads, direct mail, and telemarketing) require a lot of money to get started. They also can’t provide the kind of targeting content marketing can. For example, content marketing allows you to place an ad for your product in an article that ranks for a very specific, high-converting keyword.
Most of the potential benefits from blogging materialize only if marketers prioritize it. Content marketing success rarely, if ever, happens by accident.
One of the top digital marketing trends of 2021 is blogging done right—the results will make you good money. Between lead generation, brand awareness, SEO, and thought leadership, there are few areas of marketing that don’t benefit from blogging. A majority of marketers, in fact, consider this a more effective tool than several other traditional forms of digital marketing.
Every time an authoritative website links to a blog post (or any page), your entire website reaps the SEO benefits. Many businesses now use blogs to attract links easily with high-quality, engaging blog content.
Marketers should prick up their ears with this one. Trends in digital marketing show that if you have a regularly updated blog, with relevant content, on your company website, you are almost twice as likely to be linked by people.
According to the same report, B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost three times more traffic than those blogging once per month or less. The gist is that if you are not blogging regularly, you are missing out on a big chunk of potential customers.
These B2B marketing trends will doubtlessly impact 2021 marketing strategies. The likelihood of blogging becoming part of a business’s marketing strategy is even greater in B2B commerce than it is in B2C. We can see in other statistics about blogs in the B2B ecosystem that the nature of buyers and their information expectations are more aligned to blogging than many other forms of marketing.
Such content marketing statistics confirm that the most tangible way to link your business to a buyer’s need is to show the awesome results similar companies get when they choose your products or services. Digital marketing trends show that these case studies tend to be the preferred information gathering tool for a very high number of B2B buyers.
This makes targeted and relevant content extremely useful in influencing buyers’ decisions when you or your representatives aren’t around to do so in person.
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