Marketing Mavericks: Toyota’s Wayne Gabriel

Marketing Mavericks: Toyota’s Wayne Gabriel

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Marketing Mavericks was a supplement in the latest mag, featuring some of Australia’s most daring and bold marketers. Today, we’re bringing you Toyota’s CMO Wayne Gabriel

Brave Stayer

Wayne is perhaps somewhat of an industry anomaly, a maverick if you will forgive the indulgence. He’s been with Toyota for almost his entire career (bar a stint at Daihatsu). And, over the span of two decades, Wayne has gone from strength to strength as a marketer, starting his career at Toyota as a national sales and marketing manager before moving up the ranks to the position he holds now – chief marketing officer. 

What makes me a maverick? If I am considered a maverick, it is only because I have a brave, innovative and creative crew around me who are prepared to challenge the status quo and really push the boundaries. I like to think that it’s my role to create a culture and environment where people can feel confident, safe and inspired. When I look back on our work that fits into the maverick category, I see two things: it’s the result of many minds coming together, and breaking convention
or tradition.

The campaign that I am most proud of would be the rebranding program we are going through now. We started a ‘BrandShift’ program in 2017 with the goal to modernise the brand, put the feeling back into ‘Oh what a feeling’ and elevate our purpose. Two
years in, I can say our brand metrics are at a
10-year high.

A brand that’s not mine but makes me jealous with rage would be GoPro. Its digital marketing is genius. They have also transformed into an e-commerce success story without the costs of traditional advertising and content development. It’s remarkable.

My best tip for marketing grads is simple: fortune favours the brave. If you work hard and put in the hours, opportunities will arise. Be aware, you will have as many failures as successes, however, this is what will make you an exceptional marketer. 

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

You have two ears and one mouth – use them in that ratio.

Any hidden talents?

Cooking. From Malaysian to Italian, cooking most nights of the week is a labour of love.



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