The B2B Marketing & Sales Podcast

The Future of B2B Marketing is AI…and Real People!

June 08, 2023 Dave Loomis & Steve Miller Episode 63
The Future of B2B Marketing is AI…and Real People!
The B2B Marketing & Sales Podcast
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The B2B Marketing & Sales Podcast
The Future of B2B Marketing is AI…and Real People!
Jun 08, 2023 Episode 63
Dave Loomis & Steve Miller

Peter Boatwright is a professor of marketing and new products at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is also the Director of the Integrated Innovation Institute.  Peter is the co-author of two outstanding books on marketing and innovation:  The Design of Things to Come: How Ordinary People Create Extraordinary Products and Built to Love:  Creating Products that Captivate Customers.   

 In our conversation, we cover an important current marketing trend (I’m sure you can guess it’s AI), and what Peter considers to be a transcendent principle of marketing regardless of the times or technology (hint – it has to do with real human beings).  Peter also tells us about a novel program at Carnegie Mellon called stackable “Smart Certificates,” which enable students from anyway to take as few targeted classes as they need – or as many as they want to eventually equal a Master’s Degree.  It’s always a pleasure to connect to Peter and tap into his experience and wisdom!

Peter's LinkedIn:

Follow Dave:

Get Dave's book: Marketing Is Everything We Do

Interested in learning how Voice of the Customer can grow your business? Contact Dave:

Follow Steve:

Get Steve's bestselling book: Uncopyable: How to Create an Unfair Advantage Over Your Competition

Want to learn how to generate more business without spending a ton of moolah, and separate yourself from the competition? Steve's online presentations and consulting will make you UNCOPYABLE! Contact him:

Show Notes Transcript

Peter Boatwright is a professor of marketing and new products at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is also the Director of the Integrated Innovation Institute.  Peter is the co-author of two outstanding books on marketing and innovation:  The Design of Things to Come: How Ordinary People Create Extraordinary Products and Built to Love:  Creating Products that Captivate Customers.   

 In our conversation, we cover an important current marketing trend (I’m sure you can guess it’s AI), and what Peter considers to be a transcendent principle of marketing regardless of the times or technology (hint – it has to do with real human beings).  Peter also tells us about a novel program at Carnegie Mellon called stackable “Smart Certificates,” which enable students from anyway to take as few targeted classes as they need – or as many as they want to eventually equal a Master’s Degree.  It’s always a pleasure to connect to Peter and tap into his experience and wisdom!

Peter's LinkedIn:

Follow Dave:

Get Dave's book: Marketing Is Everything We Do

Interested in learning how Voice of the Customer can grow your business? Contact Dave:

Follow Steve:

Get Steve's bestselling book: Uncopyable: How to Create an Unfair Advantage Over Your Competition

Want to learn how to generate more business without spending a ton of moolah, and separate yourself from the competition? Steve's online presentations and consulting will make you UNCOPYABLE! Contact him:

The Future of B2B Marketing is AI…and Real People!

Dave: Hey everybody. Welcome to the. B2B Marketing and Sales podcast. And this is Dave Loomis also known as The Voice. But my, my co co-host is not with us today. It is a solo version but I am actually not solo. I'm joined with a really interesting person who I've known for some time.

Peter Boatwright. Peter is the marketing and new products faculty member, more a marketing and new products faculty member at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon. And he also is the director of the Integrated Innovation Institute there. He's the author of a couple of books and that's probably how he first got introduced because I originally read The Design of Things to Come which it was a great book co-authored by.

Craig Vogel and Jonathan Kagan. And then Peter teamed up with Jonathan Kagan again to create this book, which I love. It has love and the title Built to Love creating products that Captivate customers. This had a big influence on me personally and Jonathan Kagan. Just to note is. In the engineering school at Carnegie Mellon.

And one of the things that I always loved about their work, Peter and Jonathan's together, is that it merged marketing and engineering thinking and was probably pretty on the early stages of the design thinking sort of methodology. With that, I will welcome Peter. To our podcast.

Peter: Hello, Peter. Thank you, Dave. I really appreciate you inviting me to join 

Dave: you today. Thank you. And we keep this to maybe half an hour at the most usually. And a as, as many of the listeners know we we tend to ask pretty open-ended questions and just have casual conversations about things and just to get in the minds of our guests and what happens there and their experience.

So I'm gonna start Peter with With an extremely open-ended question. It has to do with trends, current trends in marketing, and a lot is, has changed in the last few years and even few months you might argue. But What would you say, from your point of view, from where you sit and who and work that you do, what would you say I is one or a couple of the most important and impactful trends that you're seeing in marketing these days?

Well, I. 

Peter: Don't think it would be a terrible surprise to say that it's open AI or generative AI or the chat d p t versions of the, we're still at the very beginning of where this can head. You hear all sorts of forecasts of where this could go and of course we don't know, but the capabilities.

Our you can start to forecast and see that this is something that really could be quite useful. So I've experimented, like many people with it, and I just find it helpful because, let's say I'm composing an email about whatever the topic I tell at the topic, it gives me the, the framework, it writes my email.

Now it makes up some stuff. But what I have to do is go in and edit well, some people have critiqued it, that it's making up stuff, but it has to, what I love is that now I don't have to spend my brainwaves on, we'll call it the easy stuff, the framework that needs to go there anyway. And I can really think more diligently about some specific pieces that I want to get across, some specific wording.

And I've really only used the text-based generative kinds of engines and I. I'm not creating art and some other 

Dave: artifacts at point or code this point. Are you creating code or anything yet? I'm not creating 

Peter: code. So but we think about this more broadly that I mean let's go back when I was young, calculators felt new.

I don't know if they were new. Yeah, 

Dave: absolutely. And people said, oh no. You shouldn't use a calculator. That's cheating. 

Peter: That's right. But now we don't have to spend our time and all that effort on some parts that we don't need to spend our time on. We can put our cognitive effort more creatively or more productively learning other aspects.

And so I think here in a workplace or here in a creativity context you know why? Why spend when a computer can, make things faster for me, why not use it? Now of course, the risk that many people are worried about is that, always there's this human tendency to be lazy and we accept the answer that we think is good enough when, no, it's really may not be good enough.

That's true. So yes, these issues they're there. I don't want to act like they're not there. But the capability. The productivity, the excitement is, let's think about it this way. There's the robot that can replace part of a human job let's say there, that's an awfully boring job.

Repetitive, or maybe it's bad for somebody. It's dangerous. 

Dave: Exactly. Dangerous or even repetitive stress syndrome and all that. Yeah not ideal. 

Peter: So if we can give that human and that the trick here is to find that, a job for that not replaced, not un, it may create unemployment.

But find a job that person would enjoy all the more, or be more, use their skills or grow their skills. Not just say, all right, you are what you are. We're not gonna grow, you're not gonna learn. I think the same thing here is that the, we could say white collar work could be all the more enjoyable cuz you're not spending your time with the repetitive kinds of aspects of.

Whether it's composing emails or doing something else, it's the creative, it really can kept, use part of that human element that we enjoy of thinking about what's next 

Dave: and what's possible. Yeah that's fascinating. I was at an AI conference, a little sort of session last week or week before last, and.

The, someone used the term white collar automation and, we've had it we really already have it with, Excel and Word and email and all those sort of things. They're still are, white collar automation. But this is really replacing, not replacing, but augmenting, I would say some real tasks when you think about.

Marketing itself and the different sort of work streams that, that are necessary for that. What are some application areas aside from, just from your own personal standpoint and helping you with your job or, sort of menial thing, tasks and things like that. What are some marketing things that you think this or that you've even heard about that that AI might be able to assist with?

Peter: What I've really heard about is generating variations on copy. So that could be text copy, it could be some other kind of copy. Just getting some possibilities out there. What that allows the human do is to mix and match, choose, evaluate some of these, we'll call them higher order skills that we all have.

But we want to exercise. And then the converse of that would be some places where I don't think we are, the computer's gonna be ready for is any kind of strategic. If we're thinking, marketing, it's the art about change. Because in a competitive situation, you're looking for what's not necessarily being done or what you can do different from everybody else.

And so if the computer's looking at patterns, They're looking at what's the computer's looking at what's already done, what's standard, what's normal. And as marketers, we're always looking to get attention. If it's in the awareness creation or strategically, how can we differentiate? That's 

Dave: we're always fascinating.

Yes, true. Exactly. So right now it, it might not be ready to t tell us what to do differently. Because it's looking at patterns to say what are what are the what's the regular operational method or common practice. 

Peter: So research is a great example. Give me market research on, it can give you what it can find and whatever data it has access to.

And that's a, that's great to quickly get that material and you can be more and more specific or change your questions. So that's a, so it's a glorified search. Internet search would be one way to use this. But what do I do now that I've got the research that's the part, that's the human element.

And so you're not spending your time gathering information, you're spending your time. Evaluating, synthesizing, deciding 

Dave: what to do. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. Now, of course, what's so interesting about this, and I'll call it a phenomenon, is that until November of last year, what, depending on when you're listening to the recording of this podcast it's May of 2023 when we record this.

So November of 2022. Around Thanksgiving holiday is when the world became, had access to chat G p T and OpenAI for the first time. And, all the statistics say that it's the fastest adoption of any technology in human history which is kind of a, an amazing statistic.

We're sitting here talking about what we've heard and what we've done and experimented with ourselves, between ourselves and we're reading articles and studying things, but who knows where exactly this is going to go either for on the positive side of things or the nefarious side of things, there's benefits and risks of this. Do you see. Any risks that you, that were that, that concern you when it comes to either marketing or just the technology itself? 

Peter: I think the general risk is poor decisions. And maybe those would be dangerous decisions at times, but the, to the extent that it's telling us what to do and we're obeying it we'll even take something, we're all familiar with mapping software.

It's generally really good. So Google Maps or Apple Maps or ways, whatever you use but it's always a good idea to evaluate and look to see is that send sending you where you think you should go. There are times where there's a couple of streets with the same name.

Pittsburgh has a variety of localities, municipalities, and as I looked at trying to take my son to soccer, no, that must not be the right. 

Dave: Third avenue. That's interesting. So do you blindly follow, I actually have a Pittsburgh mapping story, which is, which, is funny, I suppose in that I was I was south.

East of Pittsburgh and I was trying to get to falling Water, which is Frank Lloyd Wright's house, as which you've probably been to. And I was just following the map and it actually sent me into a mountain range on the other side of falling water. And so I was on dirt roads and going into a valley literally in the middle of nowhere.

And I actually had to stop at someone's house. And, thank goodness they didn't think I was like a crazy person. But I did get out of there, but I felt like w what just happened? And it took the most direct route, so with ai, I suppose that's a such a great point, is that, we shouldn't be just like relying on it blindly.

Peter: And the capability is to, for it to make decisions so we don't have to make decisions. One that's not really generative ai that, example that I've. Enjoyed hearing somebody else talk about as you're turning on your sprinkler system for your house. If it's checking forecasts and it's testing the dryness of your soil, it being the technology, then it can turn on your home.

Watering system at the right times, not right before a rain is about to happen or probably gonna happen. And it also could use statistics to say I know. Rain's been forecast every night for a while, but it hasn't, and I know Rain's forecast tonight, but just statistically it may or may not rain.

I'm gonna go ahead and water anyway. Some of these things it's fine with me. There's really no risk if it's turning on my water sprinklers or not. But other aspects there could be danger. Somebody joked about the robot getting the paper, the newspaper at all costs, and, Ripping it away from the dog and harming the dog who also has the paper because the instruction set is get that newspaper 

Dave: and deliver to, these are moral questions and, I've heard a friend of mine said their son is working at one of the, one of the startups and they ha they're addressing moral questions for self-driving cars that need to be asked. For instance the car has to make a decision about either to kill a pedestrian, Or run the car into a tree and risk killing the occupants of the car, which does it choose?

Because there isn't an alternative, unfortunately, something you know happened in it, right? Didn't see it. So these are tough questions by the way. I got a washing machine delivered this morning. And the promotion or the specs of it say that it has AI built into it that will sense how dirty the clothes are, what type of fabric and the weight, and then adjust the heat and other things accordingly.

Excellent to what it finds. Because that was a real problem that I, that we had. I was trying to determine those things. 

Peter: No, it's great. But that's the capability is that it's making decisions. Sure. And in many cases, maybe most cases. That's excellent. And that's where a lot of the, the, that's where the promise right and the benefit will be.

But as we but there, we need to be aware and awake. To the unusual cases. Sure. Instead of sleepy about the 

Dave: unusual cases. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I can't say I'm surprised that was the answer to the question about current trends. But let me ask you another question, which is almost the flip side of that, which is, regardless of new technologies or the changing world we live in or anything like that, there's a few core principles of marketing that probably transcend those that will, that always should be considered.

What do you think a couple of those are and why are they, why do they transcend? All these things that are changing around 

Peter: us. I think one of the transcendent principles is that it's about people. So when you're marketing two people. Your products and services are experienced by people.

It's repaired by a person, delivered by a person, even if it's a pet product and it's for your pet. It's the pet parent, the owner who is really buying, purchasing, using to a great extent. And I bring that up because I know it's obvious. And yet, when we are thinking about new products, when we're thinking about messaging so often inside our companies we're accustomed to the way we've done things.

We're thinking about our product portfolio. We begin to think about the company's objectives. I need to grow my sales. How do I grow sales? I maybe I can fill in a gap in my product line. I'm thinking about my needs. Oh, I need to have more services. I've got my products and it's a service economy.

What service can I do? A greater percentage of my portfolio should be from service revenues, et cetera. No, the only reason your service is gonna be used is that it's benefiting somebody who's gonna be the user experiencer buyer. And so the starting point really needs to be about what do they want outside.

And I know sitting in a, in a classroom or talking in a conference room or on a podcast, these are platitudes that are well recognized. It's the doing it. People are busy, workers are busy, employees are busy. And so we've already got, managing our existing lives, our existing tasks.

Fills our time, so to take that extra effort. To get outside of my own world and really dive deep into a buyer's world, a potential buyer's world, a customer's world in a way to see what we're not doing for them yet. And could that's a lot of effort. And it takes some skill, it takes some, an analysis.

It's not just checking a box. Oh, I go talk I asked somebody some questions. I met with someone. 

Dave: Yeah. Oh yeah, that's done. Yeah. Or, take a survey on a scale of one to 10, how do you feel about this? Or what are your needs? Yeah. It takes something much different. Questioning getting out there, seeing things from their perspective.

Observation. Why'd you do that? I see you're doing that. What's that all about? I think a lot of times end users of anything. I actually don't know they have a problem necessarily because they're just so used to doing things a certain way. I recall in your book built to Love a project with Navar, with 18 wheel with big trucks over the road trucks where if I'm not mistaken, you and a team looked at the cabs.

Of those trucks. And can you say, like how does that example fit with what you just said about getting out there and understanding a customer? Because I really, that, I really love that, and I think about that example all the time. 

Peter: Yeah. I just I was down in remote Honduras last year.

Long story why I was there. We don't need to go there, but I was, I saw one of these trucks out in the middle of Honduras and was really surprised cuz this is a prestige truck. It's a very expensive truck. But it's getting around the globe, we can say that, but back 

Dave: on one of the trucks that you actually helped design.

Oh my gosh. That is wild. That's a great, that's great. So what did that entail 

Peter: so that, that truck, the it's really, again, studying people, but people in a context, people are so complicated. There's a lot of aspects here in the context of a, of trucking. One thing that we found is.

There's, it's not just the business tool, it is a business tool. It's important to move product efficiently and cost effectively and to have that vehicle be durable and not break down all these mechanical aspects, functional aspects at the same time will go to owner operators. Many drivers own their trucks or own a small fleet of trucks.

They are businessmen, business people. And something that we found in our research is that they felt that society didn't value them. Like us, a business person, A C E O, we valued, or a product manager would be valued. They're a truck driver and that it was a different echelon society. So there's this hunger, this need to be recognized as successful.

There's a hunger for, pride in my success. And There's an opportunity in the product to not just be functional, effective as a business tool, but showcase success. To say, look at me I've made it. So that's and on the market at that time as we studied it, there were some look at me kinds of trucks, but they weren't necessarily smart business tools.

So from an aerodynamic. Viewpoint, they're catching wind. They have lots of chrome and flat areas to that were showy. But they weren't necessarily the, they would not be the smartest business tool. There were others that were great business tools, but they were unexciting too truckers. So that was the genesis of the idea.

We worked mainly in the interior of the truck and in the interior. It's thinking about the cabin of your private jet. Now really we have a feeling of I've made it success and we found in just doing our due diligence, we found a husband wife couple who put a wood floor.

In the back, in their truck, in their living space. They installed it themselves. So we started to get some ideas from just looking at what people were doing will 

Dave: say that's fascinating in the lives. So it's also, it's a home office basically, because, I think that one of the things that, that truckers are constantly doing is depending on whether they're independent or they work for an actual company, either way, They're constantly, checking their computer for the next route and on time delivery and all sorts of different things and in some cases, even bidding on the next on the next job.

And then trying to minimize deadheading so that they're maximizing utilization and all these things. Not to mention the fact that it's also their home and they live in it. It's that's a lot of, that's a lot of things, right? So there's 

Peter: a lot of function, living room, bedroom.

Office. All right. Kitchen, dining room. So there's that whole, that one little space back there. It has a lot of function where the success of this truck, I believe, came from recognizing this pride. I want to feel I. That I've made it. And so making that in a more higher end interior and a, the exterior of this is dropped dead gorgeous.

I really am impressed with the wasn't involved in the way this looked. And it was also smart. It's the most aerodynamic plan truck on the planet. They put it in wind tunnels, wind comes from all directions. So it was very thoughtful, but it struck a nerve. So when they unveiled this truck they did it at a car show.

And I believe it was 2008, if I have my dates correct. When they unveiled this they had truckers lined up for this truck and they were lined up to see the truck, but also to get a tattoo, not a kid's tattoo that washes off. This is a permanent tattoo that they're branding themselves with. Now, we've seen Harley tattoos or other kinds of tattoos, but.

I would wager that most people who get a Harley tattoo have driven a Harley if they don't own one. Nobody owned this truck yet. Nobody had driven this truck yet, but it resonated so deeply with this community that they were branding themselves for life. That they're either with the grill of this truck or with the logo of this truck.

Whoa. And that's, it's that, 

Dave: that's cool. It's that the brand is was Navar at the time. Is that still the brand name that is, 

Peter: So the corporate brand is Navar. I see. This truck's brand was Lonestar and Okay. Lonestar. 

Dave: Gotcha. Which is a great name too. Yeah. And you, you think about the west and a persona that might go along with that.

That's terrific. So would you have been able to, Do anything that you did or make any of the recommendations you did if you had not actually gotten out into the field and observed and talked and that sort of thing. Could you have done this with a, say, a survey monkey survey? 

Peter: We wouldn't, we might have picked up some of the needs.

You, you certainly might have taken longer with a survey, mon survey to pick up some of the needs. But I don't know that we'd have pieced it and stitched the understanding together in the same way. I don't know. Cuz human life is complicated. You've gotta know what to ask ahead of time. Yes. And then people have to take the effort to respond and write out a bunch of detail.

And who's gonna admit, oh, I wish society. Praised me more in the survey. 

Dave: Yeah, that doesn't know, don't sound like something that really comes out on a typical survey, or maybe even in the typical, conversation that you would have with someone. Because they're busy people and if you or I have ever taken a survey that someone gives us, and that's, I'll use the word survey in this case.

We wanna get it over with. It's for a hotel or a rental car, or, stay on the line for three seconds. After this call. And I don't want to do that, but Okay. I'll do it reluctantly. But that's different than really understanding customer needs. Right? 

Peter: Or, there's a lot of angles on here, so I don't, we advise our students over and over want to do surveys too quickly.

To, and we advise them to hold off and use that as a validation exercise. If there's a larger population that's similar to the smaller one that they did, but we want them to, in person certain things that you would miss on surveys. Very different illustration with some safety equipment.

And building construction. This is when there's still beams. If you've ever done a ropes course, like Go Ape, where you're tied onto some kind of cable or rope and it's like that with the workers. Is that in case they fall, they don't really fall because they've got this harness and a link to a rope.

But what happens? People still have accidents, even despite all the equipment there. And in finding out what really happens is that, these workers, they didn't, they've never died before. They've never fallen before, so they don't think it's gonna happen this time either. And so they will not follow the safety protocols because they think, I, I don't need it.

That's for other people. And so getting, finding a way, the students ended up finding a beautiful solution where, The workers could both be tethered to a har to a cable, and that the class crossed without ever untethering or un clipping so hard without showing you a visual of exactly how this worked.

But they, they thought of the engineering. In hindsight, the company said this was obvious. Nobody ever thought of it, but it's obviously, which is 

Dave: always the, a great solution sort of Occam's razor sort of thing too, which is, the, a simplest solution and some by time staring us right in the face.

Peter: Yeah. But the trick was here was recognizing that these workers they were too overconfident. To follow safety. The safety equipment's there, it works, but people weren't following proper procedure because they felt like they were overconfident. Recognizing 

Dave: which confidence, which again is a human trait.

Peter: Yeah. Would you get that on a survey? 

Dave: Yeah, exactly. You wouldn't say, you wouldn't even under, you wouldn't write it as a question. Do you think you're over? How confident or over confident are you of, you just wouldn't think of doing that. And it wouldn't come out even if you did ask it. So yeah.

That's great. So we've got AI on one hand we've got human humanity and human traits. In the other, and as long as humans are here, if AI doesn't actually replace us which would be one of the highly unfortunate consequences of the technology then we're gonna be around and we're and it's gonna be humans selling to humans whether it's B2C or b2b.

And it's, I think it's really interesting because, both of the examples that you gave are really B2B marketing, Yes, you have an end user that drives that truck, but that truck is probably purchased, sometimes it's purchased by an individual, if they're an independent, but many times purchased by a company for those individuals.

And in this case, probably if it's fancy, then, an incentive, which, truck trucking companies really need these days because it's hard to find people. And and then the construction safety, same thing. You're selling it to a construction company. So let me pivot for a second back to what you do on a day-to-day basis.

And when I was introducing you, I mentioned in addition to you being A faculty member, actually, you have a chair in marketing and new products but you also are the director of the integrated Innovation Institute. Triple I. What is that and and what does that do and what is its its mission and how's that going?

Yeah, so 

Peter: Integrated Innovation Institute is a, it's a market focused center. That trains elite innovators of what products and services. So around university, there's lots of innovation, there's lots of art. We could think of sculptures that'd be innovation. We could think of technology or physics.

The innovative ways to, learn, gain, new knowledge and studies of atoms and sure works, et cetera. So innovation everywhere. Our portion, our niche is, Products and services. 

Dave: So just just to interrupt, it does the, is this cross-functional ac you know, and all the examples that you gave, like there are different parts of the university that are part of this and your part is marketing new products.


Peter: cross-functional in that, what we actually do is, was we. Train innovators, meaning we do education, innovation education. Okay. And what are the chunks that come in? Design, business and engineering or technology Got if you want it. Got it. So why those three areas? The successful product or service that it does accomplish a function, it saves time.

It does your taxes. It it transports you somewhere, but there's all sorts of function. But it also is, it's people. People use products and services. So that's the world of design. We can think of it as interaction design, interface design, service design, experience design, industrial design, it's people, and then thirdly, what you need to be economically viable.

You could be a not-for-profit, you gotta be economically viable just cuz whatever value you're creating, you want to keep doing it. So you've gotta have the finances working out where you can stay alive and keep producing that product or performing that service, et cetera. So those are the three areas we cross-train our students.

We have graduate education currently and we cross train our students in design, business and engineering and tr. Bring students from those disciplines. They learn the others and they learn process of innovation application. And then they go out and they are product managers or they might be engineers who br think more broadly.

And bring in more skills to, 

Dave: that's fantastic. Does a student that is an undergrad, if they're in high school and they're applying to Carnegie Mellon, would they see this and immediately think I want to be part of that coming in? Or is it something that they typically learn about while they're there and then join up somehow?

How does that work from a sort of like curriculum or major or any of that kind of thing? 

Peter: Most of our students come from universities other than Carnegie Mellon. We do have some who stick around and continue. But we pull students from all 

Dave: over the world. And this is master's level, then?

This is master's level for the Integrated Innovation Institute. Okay. And so 

Peter: we've got two versions of this of our we have a, I should also talk about our Silicon Valley campus as well, but we'll get to that in a moment. Let's take our, we have a degree in Pittsburgh which is which I've been, design business and engineering.

It's innovation in general. That's an in-person program. The students generally come about after a couple of years of working. They come back to school. And they spend either one year or a year and a half to get their master's degree. We also have an online version, and this is a stackable certificates, but a master's degree here.

Our average age is around 34. So we have students in their fifties, students in their twenties, but these are significantly more experienced students. The nice thing about this version online is partly you don't have to stop your job. You can continue working full-time. Yeah, 

Dave: partly that's great.

Very flexible. I think we're obviously seeing more of that but we will see more of that for sure. 

Peter: Yeah, and partly we created chunks of material where some people want just the technology content. Some people want just the design research content. Others want the business content. So we've got chunks, which we, you could take that chunk and get a certificate.

And by the way, these are real classes. It's real work. It's 10 hours a week per class of effort on your part. But it ends up being real credit from a real university, from a prestigious university. So students might just decide, I want just this certificate. That's all I need from my skillset, my job, and continue on.

Others start to accumulate these certificates and they end up with a master's degree from university so that program. Is it's largely domestic because of time zones We teach in the evening. Or California's just after work. And so that makes sense. Either program or ways to, to 

Dave: get that degree.

That sounds tremendous. For the stackable certificate program. What's the easiest way for somebody to find information about that and the different classes and that sort of thing? If they're listening and they're saying, Hey, that might be interesting. What would they, is there a URL that's easy to get to?

Peter: There is, so first thought is, so that's current Mellon all edu iu. Yep. So cmu edu slash i ii. So that'll get you to there. Oh, triple link to online. So there you go. 

Dave: Perfect. I love it. That's great. Do you have any plans to have an AI for marketing class. 

Peter: We do, we call it smart 

Dave: systems.

Interesting. Say more 

Peter: about that. So with all of our classes, we've been around for a long time, and as new capabilities emerge in the world, we're right there teaching it. I think we had one of the first i o t classes in the world. And this was a number of years ago, but our smart system, what we're all about is.

Somebody else is developing the technologies, the sensors, the algorithms, we're applying them. And so what we're teaching our students is what is it? What are the capabilities? What are its limitations? How is it starting to be used? How could you use it? Where is this headed? Those are the kinds of things that we're covering in our classes.

So our smart systems class is covering, is making our students aware and excited about how to actually use AI embedded in products and services. 

Dave: That's that's outstanding. That's great. Obviously if you're listening and you wanna be on the cutting edge check all this out. And Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon are really known for this kind of high technology forward thinking businesses.

One that I came in contact with years ago was called siegrid. That that has self-driving vehicles in the very early days. I saw the, I went and visited with them and saw, a prototype version running around their lab. But I introduced them to my, the a subsidiary that I worked for called Hester Yale, which makes forklift trucks.

And lo and behold, now they're self-driving forklift trucks, I believe, using that SEA technology. And the name, I always, it took me a while to understand. I didn't really think about it. I'm like, I don't, I didn't put two and two together, but The name came, S E G R I D. Because basically it had all these cameras and a grid.

That the that the cameras would see technically. It that's actually a way for humans to visually understand what a machine might do. But that's really the basis of the technology and it's just got gotten better and better. And we'll continue to do 

Peter: incidentally, one of my, one of my faculty members works.

She's the design principal at siegrid. She teaches in both the online and in the in-person program. So there you go. We like to leverage people who really know the business, but also are outstanding. 

Dave: Okay. There, I didn't even know that connection. That's great. Small world. All right. Peter this has been a really fun conversation.

We've talked about new things and foundational things and some really practical things that are going on at at the Tepper school of Business. And I thank you for joining us in our time and it was really a pleasure. 

Peter: Likewise, Dave. I enjoyed getting to visit with you today. Thank 

Dave: you.

Everybody, thanks for joining and you've been listening to the B2B Marketing Sales podcast and we will be back with another version. And take care. Bye-bye.