This is issue no. 198. The last issue had a 🔥 46.58% open rate with ⚡5.07% of you going back to this article by Cameron Albert Deitch on Nike's partnership with a New York's Brickwork.

Amazon’s walled garden is 2-3 times the size [of Google’s] and has just started.

- Martin Sorrell, #AdFest100

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Today's Top Intelligence (10 Reads)
Content x Commerce Can Be Brilliant
As important as it is for the commerce teams to build their own brands and followings, the products that perform best are often the ones that tap into the editorial brand’s core. At Barstool Sports, for example, the top-selling product in its store is a line of T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “Saturdays Are For the Boys,” which a Barstool editor overheard at a bar last summer. “The core engine of everything we do is still a blog, and it’s still the guys,” said Chip Moloney, Barstool’s e-commerce marketing manager.
Read More
MEDIA: Publishers such as Vox Media, the New York Times and NBC News have limited the number of stories they put on Instant Articles. 
ECOMMERCE: The sooner they start building an Amazon strategy, the better they will be able to compete with more agile, digitally-native challengers, and the easier it will be to stay in step with what Amazon will look like tomorrow. 
ECOMMERCE: Luxury goods group LVMH will reportedly launch its own multi-brand e-commerce site in March and offer all 70 of its brands on one site, according to the Financial Times. 
DATA: According to Frost & Sullivan, Southeast Asia is poised to become one of the world's fastest-growing regions for e-commerce revenues.
MEDIA: The goal of the 2010 deal: media company and an e-commerce platform would sit under the same roof, thereby maximizing both businesses.
ECOMMERCE: What if the company just published their own content and then had free reign to advertise their products without the pricetag or the competition of buying ads? Great in theory, difficult to execute.
DATA: According to Mike Boland, a chief analyst at the market-research firm BIA/Kelsey, Foursquare can now pinpoint a phone’s location with an accuracy that matches, and may in some cases surpass, that of much larger rivals. 
RETAIL: To take advantage of the space as an additional marketing resource for building brand awareness and rallying the community.
BRAND: But with Adidas making a full court press in the ever lucrative U.S. market, Nike now finds itself on the wrong side of President Trump’s protectionist trade policies. 
Learn About Data Driven Design
Introduction: Bold Commerce
Today, I have the pleasure of announcing our first partner for 2017. I'll start by providing some context into what I was looking for in a brand partnership. Do they provide value to the 2PML readership? Is their story compelling? Are they an industry leader in media, data, brand, or eCommerce? 

Bold Commerce checks all of these boxes and more. And I’m proud to announce them! I am excited to work with CMO Jay Myers and Melanie Fatouros-Richardson to tell their story and to provide readers the opportunity to connect with them, in a host of ways. 

Who they are: 

Bold Commerce is Shopify’s largest app development partner, crafting some of the most successful eCommerce apps available on the market. The success behind this Winnipeg-based company lies in its ability to provide two of the most coveted things in the business world — money and time. - Business Elite Canada 

When Bold Commerce launched as a Shopify-only agency in 2012, Tobi Lütke (Shopify's founder/CEO) and Harley Finkelstein (COO) only had 11,000 stores on the platform. Fast forward to today and Shopify is hosting 400,000+. With 160 employees and growing by 8-10 each month, the agency’s client list includes: Microsoft, NPR, TimeLife, Proctor and Gamble, Zippo, Cirque De Soleil, and Google.

Not only do they lead data-driven design for brands that are starting, expanding, or re-platforming from Magento or Demandware, they have generated a steady stream of apps over the years. This includes 18 publicly available Shopify apps, 90 private apps, and five in the pipeline by Q4 2017.

In a recent article in Winnipeg Free Press, Myers alludes to Bold’s trajectory: 

Myers said Bold’s vision is to expand — "We’ve stated we want to be a billion-dollar business with a staff of 500" — and build what he calls a high-tech campus in Winnipeg, where Bold can help incubate other software companies. "Instead of investing cash, we’ll invest our expertise" in these start-up companies, Myers said. "We could have used something like that when we started and we can help them learn from the mistakes we made."

One of the common themes in tech media is the explosive-growth of VC funded startups. We hear about it so often that we take it for granted. Bold Commerce seems to have accomplished just as much, without the funding or the hype-cycle - proving that there's more than one way to achieve their rare level of success.  In a series of posts, 2PML will highlight where they are and where they are going. You may not recognize the name but you know their work. Those humble Canadians. 

Interested in a warm intro to the Bold Commerce team? Reply to today’s letter and let’s discuss. Follow @2PMLinks for more updates.

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