SPDR University weds learning with marketing

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May 31, 2009 5:03pm ETF BASIC NEWS

statestreetIn April 2008, State Street’s intermediary business group, which is the investment management arm of State Street Corporation, launched SPDR University—an agile learning portal exclusively for financial advisors.

The intermediary business group is responsible for distributing its SPDR (pronounced “spider”) Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and additional products via financial advisors, brokers, and other investment professionals. While State Street is one of the world’s largest ETF providers, competition for advisor mindshare—and assets—is fierce. That’s why State Street made a strategic decision to offer its prospects and customers considerably more than just investment product and performance data.

Gary MacDonald, managing director and director of marketing for State Street’s intermediary business group says, “We needed a marketing approach that strongly differentiated our value from the competition.”

State Street wanted to

1.extend the SPDR brand to its prospects and
2.build greater brand loyalty among existing customers, by providing easily accessible investment and practice management education.
In addition to building advisor trust and brand loyalty, State Street believed SPDR University could give them valuable data about user preferences that would help them better target their digital marketing efforts and more quickly qualify sales leads.

According to Sam Herring, executive vice president with Intrepid, “We believe SPDR University is at the cusp of an exciting trend connecting two disciplines that have too often been disconnected—learning and marketing. In the Web 2.0 world, learning must be attuned to individual preferences—both what and how learners want to learn.”

Full Story: http://www.astd.org/TD/Archives/2009/June/0906_Solutions.htm

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