I’m a huge fan of the concept of renewal. I find getting back from a break is a great time to take stock, break old habits and adopt new behaviours. It’s also time that I tend to clear the desk; helping me think clearly and look a little further ahead.

This year’s commercial challenge is a little different. Where in the past the industry has been driven by consistent, week-on-week change, in 2019 we are looking at a matured social landscape. Whilst we anticipate a few surprises, we also have a greater ability to look further ahead – and are preparing accordingly.

Many trends will simply roll forward from last year, of course. We expect to see more augmented reality on social media, greater transparency from networks and an increase in the consumer’s use of niche, interest-specific groups on social channels (particularly Facebook).

Others will pivot from early adoption to mainstream – and it’s here we will want to be focusing a lot of our energy. By the mid-year mark, for example, I anticipate that portrait (or 9:16) social-first video content will have become a mainstay in brand strategies, along with social TV. Both represent part of a wider movement towards social-first campaigns and activities.

So, as I sit here with my clear desk and think about where we want to help our clients go this year, the question revolves around how we take advantage of these emerging trends to sensitively add meaning and value for both the brand and the user of social media. After all, while we’re marketers, we’re users too – and who wants to see yet another agency churn out a dull, safe campaign?