Teaching is truly a calling for Bahriye Goren, a clinical assistant professor of marketing and interim academic director of the Integrated Marketing & Communications department within the NYU SPS Division of Programs in Business (DPB). An economist by training and an expert in brand strategy, innovation, and design, she is also the lead faculty for DPB’s Executive Master's in Marketing and Strategic Communications. Previously, she taught at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business and at CUNY's Baruch College Zicklin School of Business.
Prior to joining academia, Goren was a marketing executive with over 15 years of international experience. She worked at Unilever, managing Ben & Jerry’s Europe; Wallace Church, an award-winning design agency in New York; and Kantar in Amsterdam and New York, where she focused on global brands, including American Express and Sony Corp. She is the author of Be, a book on authentic leadership, which was published in 2016.
How do you see the role of marketers in business organizations?
The role of a marketer is about driving business growth and representing the voice of the customer to the broader organization. It is about identifying growth opportunities based on data and human insight. Marketing leaders need to know how to employ emerging digital technologies and how these technologies impact customers’ lived realities. For example, the metaverse is a completely new channel for companies and brands to engage with consumers, but it is also a completely new “virtual reality” for consumers themselves. Navigating unchartered territory––and leading the way in creating what new platforms like the metaverse mean to an organization as well as to the broader society––is key to a marketer’s domain.
What are the emerging trends in communications and marketing?
Key emerging trends in our profession are geared around new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual realities like the metaverse. Marketers need to have a plan in place and know how to use these technologies to support their overall business and growth strategies. They also need to think about how to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their business and make it a part of their core strategy. This should go beyond their advertising activities and also be reflected in how they innovate through inclusive design, who they hire, and who leads the marketing teams.
How is NYU SPS educating our students to keep pace with these trends?
We pride ourselves for bridging theory and practice, and offering a high quality, applied education. Our faculty are active practitioners, so our students get to learn from leaders who are “in the arena,” and discuss topics that are happening in the industry. We also have a diverse pool of faculty and students who bring in a global worldview, and we partner with companies for our curriculum development, industry events, and internships. These factors create a unique experience for our students in getting them ready for the next step in their careers.
What are some of the initiatives you are working on?
One of the key initiatives I am working on together with the rest of the IM&C team is the launch of our new Executive Master’s in Marketing and Strategic Communications, which is designed for accomplished marketers “on the rise” who wish to accelerate or pivot in their careers, helping them to deal with key changes in the marketplace, such as digital transformation.
After writing a book about authentic leadership in 2016, my interests have pivoted toward inclusive leadership and innovation, which I am working towards turning into a book. I feel very passionate about how we can build more DEI into our curriculum. For example, in our competitive strategy course, I incorporated a module on inclusive design in innovation, and I am working with my colleagues on how we can integrate more topics around DEI into our courses.
How do you see the future of the industry?
I believe the future of marketing lies in building purpose-driven brands, and maintaining long-term, trusted relationships with our customers. Finding data-driven and human-centered consumer insights, and identifying market opportunities to help drive business growth, is in line with our brand purpose. With the technological advancements and abundance of data, it will be key to keep empathy and human connection at the heart of a marketer’s core strengths. An additional challenge is how to manage big data and consider the sensitivities around consumer privacy as it relates to the use of consumer data. Finally, a key challenge and opportunity is knowing how to stay up to date with new and emerging technologies in artificial intelligence and machine learning.