Employee spotlight: Stu Nyman

Stu Nyman

Digital client engagement lead and business services director Stu Nyman is passionate about digital innovation, transformative operations, and new and emerging technology. He loves working in a team environment to combine creative and strategic leadership, with digital customer engagement brand experiences and focuses on building agency/client relationships and valuable partnerships that drive growth and bottom line business results.

Get to know Stu below…

What are your pronouns? 
He, Him, His

What type of work experiences did you have prior to joining tms? 
I’ve always been the digital go-to guy amongst my family and friends, solving problems, building websites or apps, and designing business strategies for side hustles. But more important than this skillset I think, is how we interact with our colleagues and clients to get the best results.

I have over 20+ years’ of global digital and integrated agency experience. I’ve had the honour to work with incredible companies and teams over the years, including at a tech start up in London, then on to Publicis Modem in London, New York, and Seoul before joining DDB Tribal in Seoul and Singapore and finally joining tms in Hong Kong.

Even before all that, by birth or by choice, I was involved with client services from an early age. Both my parents are hairdressers who ran their own business for 50+ years in various locations across central London. Back in the day, I used to sweep the floors and tidy up after each client. I met people of all ages, from all over the world and, of course, got free haircuts!

This was a real-life, invaluable crash course in effective interaction with clients. I learned that being a good hairdresser isn’t more than mastering the core skills — including the keen ability to connect and build trust— so customers return again and again. Once you have their trust, you can connect and grow the relationship. This same concept applies to client services in the marketing industry. Making someone feel comfortable, that is one of the best ways to enter into a dialogue, empathize, and connect.

Good marketing strategy requires analyzing how audiences communicate and listening to what they are receptive to. Hairdressers do this every day, and so do we every time we launch communications, messaging, and creative ideas. Don’t be afraid to peel back the layers and truly connect with your clients and colleagues. Find out where they come from and how their culture works so you can ultimately relate and build bridges as you spark an authentic relationship and earn trust.

What’s in your headphones currently? 
Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty

It’s a really good story about how to build authentic, lasting, and fruitful client relationships while building trust and loyalty.

Describe tms in one word.

During your time at tms, what work are you most proud of?
Building and maintaining an incredible team here in Hong Kong, and being the ‘father’ of our iWIN platform.

Before I joined the company in 2016, my team and I came up with the concept for the McDonald’s Surprise Alarm app and engaged a multi-agency team to bring the idea to life. The concept was sound, and the insight was simple. Generally speaking, people don’t like mornings, but they love when there is something to look forward to. So we designed the McDonald’s Surprise Alarm. Wake up at any time you like to something surprising: a free coffee at McDonald’s or a fully paid holiday. We needed to build a platform that could handle the insane amount of server requests that we would end up getting, enter iWIN and my introduction and partnership with tms.

One thing that struck me then, as it still does now, is how much tms seemed to be an extension to McDonald’s team. This is an incredible trait to have as an agency, and I’m also proud to say that as an international team and wider organization, our clients really do depend on us as consultants who fully understand their business. We are not just another agency on the roster, but a true partner with similar ambition.

What would the title of your autobiography be?
How to build trust – The only win-win ingredient for life!

Which person (dead or alive) would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with and why?
Elon Musk – I think it’s very telling, and gives me faith in humanity, that the richest man in the world is building businesses that are key to the survival of our planet, and the evolution of the human race.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given? 
There are so many words of wisdom. I’ve been lucky enough to have a supportive family and incredible career mentors over the years. Here’s a few:

  • “Treat every business as if it was your own.” –My Dad
  • “Imposter syndrome is a real thing, and many senior leaders cope with it too.” –My Best friend
  • “It’s okay to not have all the answers.” –My Mentor in Korea
  • “We are all just people. If you are not clear, likely hood is someone else is not, so simplify it.”  –My Mentor New York
  • “Success is a team sport” – My Mentor Hong Kong

What’s your current side hustle? 
Ha-ha, I wish I had time for it. Bringing up my five-year-old daughter with my lovely wife is the current side hustle. But if I had the time, I’d probably sell my sous vide home smoked BBQ ribs. I’m told, by my friend from Texas of all places, that they are legit and remind them of home. The reality is I’d probably end up just eating them all. 🙂