Ben Bressington is the CEO of iGamify. He joins the show to discuss how gamification can increase and engage customers. Bressington also tells us about publishing mobile apps and how apps have changed the way people communicate. He shares some tips on using social media to manage brands and one’s image. Visit iGamify at www.igamify.com. Find out more about Benn Bressington at www.aussieben.com
Jason Hartman: Welcome to the Speaking of Wealth Show. This is your host, Jason Hartman, where we discuss profit strategies for speakers, publishers, authors, consultants, coaches, infomarketers and just go over a whole bunch of exciting things that you can use to increase your business, to make your business more successful and more and more passive and more and more automated and more and more scalable. So we will be back with a great interview. Be sure to visit us at SpeakingofWealth.com. You can take advantage of our blog, subscribe to the RSS feed and many other resources for free at SpeakingofWealth.com and we will be back with a great interview for you in less than 60 seconds.
Start of Interview with Ben Bressington
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Ben Bressington to the show. He is the CEO of iGamify. And I tell you, this is a very exciting new field – maybe not that new anymore but it may be new to you and thinking about the way that your business, whether you are a speaker, author, publisher, whether you have a restaurant, almost anything – probably anything our guest will say – can be gamified. And gamification can create tremendous customer engagement, customer loyalty – very exciting.
I first saw a speech on this a couple of years ago at Yanik Silver’s Underground event. And then it inspired me to read the book Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal and I have been fascinated by this ever since. So I’m glad to bring you, Ben, to do an actual show on it and you’ll hear a lot more. Ben, welcome, how are you?
Ben Bressington: I am doing wonderful.
Jason Hartman: Well, good, good. A very exciting topic, you are in a fantastic industry, my friend. And I believe you’re coming to us today from somewhere in Florida, is that correct?
Ben Bressington: I am. I’m enjoying the beaches of Clearwater, Florida at the moment. I can smell it and hear it, so it’s close by somewhere.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. Well, welcome. Tell us about some of the ways in which gamification can increase and engage customer relationships.
Ben Bressington: First of all, step back and actually explain to everybody what gamification really is because people are going well that’s a big work and it’s gami-what? So, gamification is all about taking what we call game mechanics, which is the fun elements of game design and play, and applying it to something that’s not a game because – let’s think about – how many times have you seen people be addicted to games like Angry Birds or Words With Friends? Like there’s stories that have been in the media where planes have been delayed because people won’t turn off Draw Something or Words With Friends because they’re so busy and so engaged in a game they’re playing. But we can also apply it offline when you look at things like golf, Nascar, football, and all the many sports worldwide.
So it’s getting down and understanding what makes play and fun and games so addictive, so exciting, so motivated. And how do we extract those what we call mechanics and apply that to business, be it sales, marketing, customer attention, customer loyalty and so on. And that’s what we’ve done and that’s the field of gamification. So when you hear gamification, you can replace that word with customer loyalty, customer retention or really engagement because how do you engage and stimulate and activate your customers or your staff or your team or even yourself. And it’s all about motivation and understanding personality to allow people to actually create the victory, the win they’re actually seeking. So does that definition of gamification make sense to you?
Jason Hartman: Yeah, I think it does and it’s just surprising the types of businesses that’s using gamification. I mean it’ll become even more clear as you explain and give some examples of how businesses use this – just an amazing thing.
Ben Bressington: Well, the businesses we already – our life is being gamified every single day of the week. How many times have you seen a points program or a loyalty program? Or how many of your listeners have frequent flier miles? And get this – you’ll fly out of your way, several hours, you’ll have a painful transfer or maybe two just to keep your points, keep your status. The element of points and status and leaderboards and competition are all game mechanics. And just think back and think for a second how many businesses are actually using that? The offers – Subway uses it with coupon loyalty programs, customer incentive. The airline frequent flier programs is a billion dollar a year industry. Every business has a loyalty program to try and get you to come back and get you engaged. That’s it. We see many new online businesses using status. Amazon even uses this. Are you an Amazon Prime member?
Jason Hartman: Yes, I am a Prime member if that’s actually a question.
Ben Bressington: You’re paying for status. That is status so you can actually get free next day shipping. And you’re willing to pay more. So the thing is with your customer base you can start thinking about how can you leverage status, have different tiers of customer and show to your customers when they’re a prospect. Well, right now you’re a prospect and you’re way down at the bottom, but we can actually move you along the tears and one of the ways – people might want to write this down – is the best way to motivate people is actually through status, access, power and stuff.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, I noticed, interestingly, you didn’t say “hard cold cash” there.
Ben Bressington: Well, stuff if 4th and there’s actually science, research and hard data nowadays to say that motivating people with money actually demotivates and disengages people. So right now 71% of the American workforce are actively disengaged and disincentivized in the actual workplace – that means productivity’s suffering, workplace is suffering. Think of any time you motivate affiliates or resellers and you think throwing some cash will motivate them. They actually think that you just devalued that relationship because you put a monetary value on it. If you’re trying to work with millennials, the generation Y people, they’re not interested in the money. Yes, they want money, but they want to know that you’re collaborating and contributing to something bigger than themselves.
They’re doing something worthy of their time. And they will do the impossible. So we see even in the affiliate world online, people throw money at things. But you’ll see these other people that’ll throw – I’ll throw people who sell 100 products a Segway or a car or a trip, a 5 star trip or a cruise for 7 nights or things like that and that motivates people, that excites people. Just think of it how the restaurant world had been using free t-shirts or free drinks or beer koozies for years. Like, what will people do for a free t-shirt?
Jason Hartman: They’ll do a lot. It’s amazing – there’s a bar in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico that gives you a free t-shirt if you have so many drinks – these drinks called Skip and Go Naked and you hang upside down like a marlin. You know, it’s crazy – people will kill themselves for a t-shirt.
Ben Bressington: Exactly. That’s the type of motivation and fun and story you need to create around your product or service. And when we think about that, like just think about the average entrepreneur and when they built their business. For some reason, people think business has to be boring and it can’t be fun and it can’t be playful. If you change your mind to think how can we make our workday fun and exciting and really enjoyable, productivity will dramatically increase and your business success increases.
So you mentioned before about using this on people’s website. So I always get the question “But how do I apply this to my website?” Well, quite simply, rewarding people every time they visit their website, giving them some points, giving them the virtual currency, recognizing them through status so every time they click on a video they get points that they can redeem for credits or access or improving – they get a little badge or an icon like what Foursquare did. And that company actually provides people – website owners – with business that’s with the technology to do this and we’ve even got some of this technology we offer for free. So there’s a myriad of resources that are available to people, to motivate people to take action. So one of the reasons I know you’re gonna ask me soon is why we created it. We actually created these game decks, actual card decks to teach people why this is so important, this field of gamification is so important to business, because it’s all about motivation.
And it’s understanding how to motivate and create habit forming processes because you know your business is going to be successful if you can make your customers create a habit around that because habits are hard to break. Think of smoking or eating those cheesy fries when you go out to dinner or onions rings or if you’re drinking pop, like you get addicted to this type of stuff. Like coffee, if your business was like coffee to people you’d be a very successful man, correct?
Jason Hartman: Oh yeah, of course. Of course, yeah. So we want to engage them. That’s what this addiction and these habits are all about is just more and more engagement. Can you give more examples of businesses because I think, Ben, the question everybody is probably thinking in their mind as you speak is, wow, this is so exciting. How do I apply it to my business? What can I do for my widget business? They all kind of think, well, that works great for another business, but maybe there’s particularly odd examples of businesses that applied it too.
Ben Bressington: Well, Buffalo Wild Wings applied it, which Buffalo Wild Wings is a chicken wings restaurant and pop in it’s a bar, and they applied it and they actually – get this – they actually challenged users, their customers, to come up with ways to challenge their friends to consume their wings product. And they motivated by giving them points, status, they motivated by giving them $5 off for free pop or a free wing or something like that, right. So the simple marketing and promotion that they were doing anyway, but they challenged their users to find ways to challenge their friends, and what happened over 9 weeks they generated 20,000 user generated challenges.
So let’s think about that. Like 5 of the hottest wings with no milk, no water, no fluids or no napkins, that’s one challenge. That created 20,000 of them. And their users came back on average 3 times to complete on average 7 challenges of which they were buying more of your product to play the game because all they wanted to do was beat their friend, beat their mom, beat their sister, beat the guy down the road or beat the guy on the other side of the country. We’ve seen that millionaire who’s a rappist, he is a Grammy Award-winning musician. He actually, on his website, created and challenged people to become the number 1 fan and they needed to prove their loyalty to his business, his label. And, as a result, people were getting motivated and he would reward them by giving them, the people, the normal things he was giving away, giving people status and access. And he actually created a ranking system. And you could only advance if you did certain tasks. And people, as a result, were branding their wedding cakes, the most important day of their life, their wedding cake, with his logo. They’re tattooing his logo onto their body to prove they’re loyal.
Jason Hartman: Unbelievable. That’s amazing.
Ben Bressington: If you actually take a second to take that in, that’s some loyal, passionate people.
Jason Hartman: Oh, it definitely is. I mean it’s interesting you mention the tattoo because the top tattoo, or at least it used to be, in the world is a brand. It’s Harley Davidson. And I mean that’s just mindboggling that you can get consumers to permanently imprint your logo on their body. I mean that’s just an amazing thing.
Ben Bressington: Yeah, that’s very important. And the thing you need to ask yourself as a business owner how loyal are your customers? How loyal are they to your cause? Are they loyal because it’s something bigger than you? Like if we look at the Apple customer – the people who buy the Apple Mac machine, Apple machines, the iPads, iPods…
Jason Hartman: Very loyal customer base.
Ben Bressington: They will wait in line for days camping in the cold to get access to product.
Jason Hartman: Not only that, considering that I’m one of them, they’ll have debates with their friends about why Apple products are better than their Androids or their PCs or whatever.
Ben Bressington: Exactly. So a game mechanic is what we call social collaboration. So, as a business, how you’re leveraging social media just calls and stimulates discussion and having people actually discuss. It’s an important thing to do. If we look at Disney, Disney created a trading economy around pins, collectable items. So they now have what they have a pin economy at Disney.
So that’s an important thing to realize is so in my business what could I offer that people could collect and trade amongst themselves, and how can I facilitate that, this other trinket or widget that people could offer? So that could actually work.
Jason Hartman: Okay, so I think you’re leading into you talk about the 7 core game mechanics. If we can drill down on maybe not all of these, maybe we don’t have time for that, but you talk about badges, you talk about levels, you talk about leaderboards, progress bars, virtual currency like you mentioned with Disney, awards, trading and gifting and challenges between users like Buffalo Wild Wings. So go ahead – give some examples if we can.
Ben Bressington: So one of the things is a progress bar because let’s simply think of this on our website or even offline. When you send people an application or some paperwork, just by having a progress bar, you’ll complete the completion rate significantly. People want to know how far they’re out and how far until this page is finished. Do I have 10 pages left? Do I have 1 page left? Is there 2 questions left? People want that feedback. So that’s what’s one of the real cool mechanics is all this is about feedback. We want to know how close are we to actually achieving a win and that’s what the game wheel does very, very powerfully. We know exactly what we need to do to achieve the win we’re looking for to complete the level or to get to the next step.
So, a lot of these core 7 mechanics which, as you said, people are gonna want to write these down, got badges, levels, leader boards which is just a score board, progress bar to show where you’re at right now and where you gotta go to the next step, virtual currency, you got awards, trading and gifting and you got challenges between users as number 7. So Buffalo Wild Wings use challenges between users, having users challenge each other because everybody wants to win. We all want to one-up our friend. We all want to think we have better skills than the guy next door. Virtual currency is a very important thing and it’s important and the game does this very well because it’s 500 gems. But those 500 gems cost $5 or $2 or $0.99.
And think of this in Vegas. You were quite easily and quite happy to buy chips, but if you really realized that each one of those chips that you’re throwing down on the table was $1000, you would probably think a little bit harder about, ooh, am I really risking that, do I really want to spend $1000 or $10,000 on this card right now. So thinking about virtual currency, what it does is that it actually disempowers people’s emotional connection to money. So if you had people subscribing on a monthly continuity, for example – this is like where they pay $50 a month or $99 a month or even $5 and they got 100 credits and they had to use these credits, it motivates them and they’re no longer thinking 100 credit’s $99, because they’re thinking about what they need to use those credits for. Are you with me?
Jason Hartman: Yes, absolutely.
Ben Bressington: So these are all important notes you can be thinking because we never want to compete on price. We never want to be compared on price. So what you want to do is remove money from the equation as fast as possible and connect your product to a win. And people need to see that the only way they can achieve the win, that victory they’re really looking for, is by acquiring your product. So it makes logical sense for people to say, well, I need to buy your product because that emotional win of me having the freedom or financial freedom or becoming a real estate mogul or being fit and ripped, having ripped abs, I just need your product because that’s gonna facilitate me to have that – does that make sense?
Jason Hartman: Yeah, absolutely. In fact, I just downloaded an app yesterday. I guess it’s another form of gamification but it’s where you pay if you don’t go to the gym and other people pay you if you go, the slackers, the couch potatoes. So it motivates you to work out more. It’s just amazing the things people think of. It’s incredible.
Ben Bressington: Exactly. It’s just thinking about ways we can actually engage and motivate people. When you say that, think about how and what – if you’ve ever been in network marketing or MLMs or direct sales industry – what people will do for badges. There have been billion dollar companies built on the whole premise that every month they recognize people and they give out a different pin for somebody to wear on their suit. And they take photos of them as they’re crossing the stage. People are looking for public acknowledgement. They’re looking for somebody to recognize them and show them you are making a difference and you’re doing something that’s bigger than you. And quite often, in business we make our business all about that cup of coffee, a widget we’re selling.
Well, it’s not about the widget. It’s about what your widget facilitates, how your widget actually helps people achieve a victory, a win. It needs to be anchored to something more than itself, no matter what you do. Any type of widget, it doesn’t matter if you sell plumbing seals on pipes. What you facilitate is you facilitate smooth conductivity of any liquid, any material 100% of the time. And it doesn’t matter if you sell a rubber widget because now they’re not looking at your rubber widgets, they’re looking at you, well, I need my plumbing to be working hell or high water. Your product facilitates that.
Jason Hartman: Very good, very good. So what has the method of distribution been? When I think of gamification, for some reason my mind goes to well I’ve got to develop an app for the iPhone or the Android system and that’s where the game is played. But it’s not just in the app world, right?
Ben Bressington: No. It’s even easier. Most people don’t realize that gamification, it’s got nothing to do with actually creating a game. It’s got nothing to do with creating World of Warcraft at all. And we’ve been in businesses where we’ve actually introduced fun to meetings because how often have you gone to meetings and they’re just boring? There’s actually elements of play we can introduce to meetings to make daily meetings more productive. So you can think about applying this online and offline. And if you have an offline business, it’s actually more powerful for you to apply it offline and leverage online. You can do this through your website and it doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. You can create mobile apps if you want to.
But, for example, one of the things we’re doing with the state of Tennessee and several other locations and live events is we created a text-based, like an SMS message, a text message, scavenger hunt. So people can actually use text message to run around and explore and unlock prizes and coupons and become the winner because of their knowledge and they’re testing their schools and we use a text message. And most people go, oh, but you can use an app. Well, we can actually use both and we do use both but why do we start with a text message? Because out of 1000 people, an app will only reach 3 where a text message will have a 98% delivery rate but we know that out of 1000 people we will actively engage 780.
And one of the things we took this even further is we built a text message platform that facilitates us to actually have a conversation with the users, a two-way conversation so they’re actually thinking they’re actually talking to a real person.
Jason Hartman: So a real person is sitting there doing texts all day to run the game, though? I mean, that doesn’t scale. I’m sure you’re gonna say that’s not what’s happening.
Ben Bressington: Yeah, well that’s what people think, but what we actually did is we actually built some very advanced software that makes it look simple that creates and designs conversation. So we have these fancy IG bots that are reading the message to go “Oh, this is what they want from there.” They’re interpreting your messages that you respond with. And now you can actually use this to engage because a lot of you people use, for example, text messaging incorrect. They used that one way broadcast that doesn’t mean anything.
Like, for example, we’re working with a clothing shop that’s actually closing down in Tennessee and they want it in Nashville. And they actually wanted to engage their customers to let them know of different sales and offers that are happening every day. So what they do is they send out a text message and first of all they say, hey, we want to let you know we’re closing down on August 31st. And what we’re doing is we want to let you know of up to 70% to 90% off prices. What items would you like to know about? And people can respond back with clothes, boots, shoes, belts, everything, and then they get a next message of would you like male or female or kids? And people respond back “Oh, kids wear.” And so now, as a marketer, we can actually be tagging and using these conversations to facilitate next action. Does that make sense?
Jason Hartman: Yeah. Yeah, it does. It’s really incredibly, incredibly powerful. So what does a business or a solopreneur need to look at in terms of actually implementing this? I mean, everybody’s thinking what is the cost? Advanced software that responds to text messages, that sounds expensive, that sounds complicated. Where should someone start? I know they can use multiple platforms, they can use an app, they can use text, they can use their website. They can even use it in an offline business which is there really any offline business left anymore that’s completely offline? I hope not. But what’s the entry point? And then maybe there’s a progression of implementing more and more gamification within one’s business.
Ben Bressington: Well, one of the things we did is we understood and we took a different tactic to every other company in the marketplace. We wanted to actually train people in understanding how this is a process and it’s not just a product. So it’s something that’s gonna evolve and continually evolve. So we created advanced levels of trainings and like hundreds of videos. We actually created these full card games, actual card games you can play. One’s called a game deck which we use to apply game mechanics to business and create engaging and fun marketing strategies. And there’s over 52 cards in that deck, so that actually means you’ve got over a million different marketing strategies, meeting strategies, social media strategies you can come up with to stimulate fun and excitement just from our game deck. But what’s even more powerful with that – so there’s 52 cards – and we’ve actually got a training video on every single card that you can watch from your mobile device or on your iPad or anything like that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So there’s training of me actually teaching you what this means, how it applies, how you could use it, and then you can join the discussion to see what people are doing with points, what people are doing with rebels, what people are doing with badges and how they’re using and what they’ve been doing and the results they’ve been having.
And then we’ve got 3 other games. We created a business deck to help people create a business strategy and a business model. For example, when I built my app company which was in 2011 and 2012, I wanted to create an app company that I could sell for $100 million. So I actually needed to understand why would someone want to buy my business for $100 million. And I actually designed my business around my exit strategy, how I’m gonna exit, when I’m gonna exit. So I started my app company. And even when it was 2 months old, I started talking to big companies and investors and letting them know what I’m doing, showing them you’re gonna be buying me. And what was funny is around month 8 of my company where we’ve published over 300 apps and things like that – we’ve got some good momentum – I had an LOI, a letter of intent, to actually purchase my company.
Jason Hartman: Amazing.
Ben Bressington: So I turn that into a card game to show people how to create a business strategy. And in that deck alone there’s 65 cards. It’s kind of like business planning and business strategy on steroids and you can actually do it all in less than an hour. And you actually get really clear on what your core problems are, who your customers are and, more importantly, who your customers are not. Because, quite often, as entrepreneurs we waste so much time with the wrong people.
Jason Hartman: Sure we do, yeah.
Ben Bressington: And like if we just get clear on who our customers really are we can save lots of money on our advertising and marketing because we’re talking to more of the right people. So that’s what our business deck actually facilitates for people. And we actually created what we call our life deck. And our life deck is all about personal development. And how do you align the personal goals of your team, your sales people, your employees and even your affiliates with that of your business? So there actually you’re internally or we’d say intrinsically motivating them to continue to be involved and engaged with your business – how much would that help your business? So that’s what we have with our life deck.
And we then have what we call our sales deck which is the pitch deck which is all about creating sales presentations that convert because we’ve all seen presentations that suck. They’re boring as anything. Nobody wants that. A lot of people have a hard time selling. So we actually turned selling into a game to explain – and I can actually now take anybody off the streets and turn them into a powerful sales person to the point that we actually work with some of the leading sales training companies around the world and they use our process. And we get flown all around the world to train people on how to create far more converting sales. These card decks may sound like they’re expensive. Bear in mind each deck – so in total there’s over 400 videos available on coachings and trainings. And you can get these 4 game decks for $299 or $99 each if you go “Hey, I just want the sales deck because I want to have better converting sales”. It’s $99.
Jason Hartman: When you say card deck, by the way, is that something one uses like flash cards or they play it as a game and they have to play with another person.
Ben Bressington: No, they can actually use them themselves. So I think instead of playing cards, poker cards, Texas Hold ‘Em, they’re actually that size, and they’re used to stimulate ideas. So it’s not like you play this and you’re gonna win, but it’s used to stimulate your ideas and creativity and walk you through a process because now it’s becoming tangible. So it’s showing you the elements of your sales presentation, for example, that are missing or how you’ve put your sales presentation out of order or you’re missing steps in your sales presentation and that’s why it’s not converting. So, yeah, they’re actual real cards you can actually hold and the training is what you have in your other hand.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. Your website is iGamify. Do you have another website you’d like to give out as well?
Ben Bressington: No, it’s just all iGamify.com. Everything’s available from there. People can book consultations with this and they can actually speak to a certified advisor and we’ll do a needs assessment and put together an actual winning game plan for them. We can help them build up their entire online business. So people come to us and say, hey, I need a website and I need this or I need a members area. We actually got that. Our technology’s all up there, our SMS platform, our text messaging platform’s all up there and you were asking about cost before and, well, with our text message platform, this conversational platform, you can get started for as low as $47 a month.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. Tell us more about that if you would.
Ben Bressington: That’s just quite fascinating because how else can you actually activate and engage your customers on a regular basis? Because let’s think of that. We send a text message. It has a 98% read rate within 4 minutes. If we send an email, the average response rate on emails is 2.5 days, and if the email even gets through where I have a deliverability rate of somewhere between 3% and 13% depending on what statistics you read. And one of the things we’re gonna think about is how are our customers communicating? And what most people don’t realize is that if you send a text message, 4 out of 10 people will actually share it with somebody else. The average American actually wants to receive 2 text messages, being coupon or offers, from your business every single month. So are you actually giving them what they want? And that’s what makes this platform very powerful. And we actually are going even further because a lot of us go well I don’t even know how to set this up. So we’ve actually got pre-built campaigns that we give you every single month, seasonal offers. Christmas is coming up, Halloween, Thanksgiving, any holiday, public holiday. We’ve actually got campaigns that you can just activate and run. Like, it’s pretty powerful stuff when you can connect it correctly to your CRM system as well which is like your follow-up system.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, absolutely – very good. Just, in closing, you mentioned the sales deck for conversion and so forth, and you talk about the four different personalities and some tips to close deals for entrepreneurs. Can you share those with us just to wrap up?
Ben Bressington: So, with the personalities we say there’s 4 different personality types. There’s the achievers, there’s the hunters, there’s the explorers and there’s the socialites. The socialites are the social butterflies. The explorers are the people that you sit down and they want to pull things apart. They want to understand the blueprints, where does this happen, how is this connected? They’re the people that want to know how the power get to the light bulb and when I flick the light switch the power turns on. The other person are the hunter – these are the people who want to dominate others. They’re kind of like that emotional bulldozer. We’re all sitting there going “Yeah, I know a few of those” or “That might be me”. And the other person is what we call the achievers. These are the people motivated by shiny objects – they’re the ones who want the fancy suits, the big houses, the big holidays. They want to like be the number 1 and have the status. So one of the clear things with your presentation is understanding those 4 different personalities and understanding the words you need to use, like we have the complete blueprint or system that has step by step training and we have hundreds of other people around the world we’re gonna connect you to. So automatically I’ve said we’ve got connection, you’re gonna be able to collaborate, we’ve got a system, the blueprints, we hold your hand. So you actually start using words that resonate with the other personalities because most of the time most people aren’t even aware that you sell predominantly to your personality style. So if I can show you how to just tweak the language you use, but more importantly if you can even identify who’s sitting across from you, you can actually engage them and possibly increase your sales right now by 300%.
Jason Hartman: Because you’ve picked up a whole new market that you’re not selling to now – yeah, fantastic.
Ben Bressington: The ones who are walking away saying “Yeah, I gotta think about that” or “I just don’t get it” – it’s because you haven’t resonated with their personality.
Jason Hartman: Absolutely. Well, Ben Bressington, thank you so much for joining us today. The company is iGamify. This is a fascinating, fascinating area and you have made it easy for people to get into the world of gamification for their practice, so very, very exciting stuff. Thanks for joining us.
Ben Bressington: My pleasure.
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Transcribed by Ralph
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