Finweek English Edition - - INVESTMENT -

The company de­liv­ered another steady per­for­mance for the f inan­cial year end­ing June, with rev­enue and earn­ings per share ad­vanc­ing 10%, while the div­i­dend jumped by 71% to 12c/share.

The hike in div­i­dends was done on the ba­sis of strong op­er­at­ing cash f lows and a very healthy bank bal­ance. At f inan­cial year end, the company sat with R120m in cash with min­i­mal debt (R4.8m), mean­ing that ev­ery share (trad­ing at R2.60 at the time of writ­ing) was backed up with R0.83 in net cash.

The c om­pany c om­prises t wo op­er­at­ing di­vi­sions: Me­di­a­worx, which pro­vides tar­geted me­dia cam­paigns across a range of elec­tronic plat­forms, and Biz­worx, which op­er­ates fax-toe­mail ser­vices that trans­mit over 50m images a year.

But the company is em­bark­ing on a new ini­tia­tive called Knowl­edge 350, which with t he forth­com­ing pro­mul­ga­tion of t he Pro­tec­tion of Per­sonal In­for­ma­tion Act (POPI), will pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity to of­fer clients a more rounded mar­ket­ing and data col­lec­tion so­lu­tion.

Foneworx CEO Mark Smith be­lieves that POPI will af­fect ev­ery or­gan­i­sa­tion that has a data­base with con­sumer in­for­ma­tion. “It’s go­ing to change the way data­bases have been built over time. The leg­is­la­tion will re­quire com­pa­nies to have ex­plicit per­mis­sion from an in­di­vid­ual to hold their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion – which in­cludes things like names, ID num­bers and phone num­bers. They will also have to com­mu­ni­cate with con­sumers in the chan­nels stip­u­lated by the con­sumer – be it SMS, email or in writ­ing.”

The t hrust of Knowl­edge 350’s propo­si­tion is to give com­pa­nies a much bet­ter pic­ture of their clients. This will ex­tend data­bases from hold­ing purely de­mo­graphic in­for­ma­tion to in­clude things like Liv­ing Stan­dard Mea­sures a nd ps y c ho­graphic i nfor ma­tion (life­style pref­er­ences). “It’s a 15-step business process that helps col­lect the data and pro­vide far more de­tail on the con­sumer than they cur­rently have, all in com­pli­ance with POPI,” says Smith.

This will t rans­form mar­ket­ing cam­paigns f rom mass mar­ket­ing ex­er­cises to more one-to-one, tar­geted mar­ket­ing. For ex­am­ple, to a con­sumer that has ex­pressed an in­ter­est in trail run­ning and has granted con­sent for an ap­parel company to send them mar­ket­ing in­for­ma­tion, Foneworx would be able to send an elec­tronic voucher for run­ning shoes to the per­son and pro­vide feed­back as to if, and where, the voucher was re­deemed.

This will en­tail longer re­la­tion­ships with clients as Foneworx will con­sult, de­sign and de­liver a l l as­pects of data col l ec­tion, man­age­ment and t he ex­e­cu­tion of cam­paigns. “Our clients have typ­i­cally used us for short pe­ri­ods, but in an­tic­i­pa­tion of do­ing more con­sult­ing work, we have ac­quired mi­nor­ity stakes in con­sumer re­search firms like BMI and Liv­ing Facts. And we will look to do more in the re­lated fields of cus­tomer re­la­tion­ship man­age­ment and so­cial me­dia,” says Smith.

The i nit i at i v e has j ust been launched, and in­vestors will be ea­ger to see how well it pro­gresses over the next fi­nan­cial year.

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