AINews & Analysis

Twilio Eyes Marketing Automation Space with Twilio Engage

Twilio has launched Twilio Engage, a growth automation platform that will allow marketers to improve their relationships with customers.


Cloud communications provider Twilio Inc. announced the launch of Twilio Engage, a growth automation platform that will allow marketers to improve their relationships with customers by delivering personalized customer experiences at large scale. Twilio Engage is built on Segment, a next generation customer data management platform. The San Francisco-based company snapped up Segment in November last year for a whopping $3.2 billion and this is the first major offering since the acquisition.

jeff twilo
Jeff Lawson, CEO and co-founder of Twilio

At the Segment 2021 event, Jeff Lawson, CEO and co-founder of Twilio and an industry veteran, who unveiled the new marketing automation product said, “In today’s digital world, the most innovative companies are able to use their data to deliver exceptional, personalized customer engagement. That should be something that’s achievable for every brand, not just the biggest tech companies.”

“It’s only possible with the best data, the best communication layer, and a building blocks approach to software — which is what we’re bringing together for the first time with Twilio Engage. Our vision is to democratize personalization, so companies of every size can deliver the tailored interactions customers expect,” said Lawson, a serial inventor with nearly two decades of entrepreneurial and product experience and the ex-product managers for Amazon Web Services.

Founded in 2008, Twilio has grown to a $60 billion market cap business for cloud communications on the strength of its “building blocks” that allow developers to build apps tailored for their own businesses. Also known as APIs, they function as connective code which allows a developer to easily integrate different apps into their own product. In other words, the company enables B2C companies to better understand its customers, personalize the entire customer journey, and confidently harness the rapid digital transformations of the last year and a half.

“We believe Twilio Engage is going to disrupt marketing and customer engagement,” said Peter Reinhardt, CEO of Twilio Segment. “For years, marketers have been locked into one-size-fits-all marketing suites built for an entirely different era. Twilio Engage delivers true end-to-end customer engagement by giving businesses the best customer data, powerful messaging capabilities, and unlimited API extensibility. This is what it takes to deliver truly satisfying customer experiences and improve acquisition, conversion, and retention.”

The Great Data Dilemma

In 2020, digital customer touchpoints including emails, texts, and alerts increased by 63%, while the volume of digital interactions increased by 54%, according to the 2021 State of Customer Engagement Report. This flurry of interactions has given companies an influx of data, but almost half of organizations (43%) say getting accurate customer data for personalization is a challenge. Few brands have figured out how to utilize their first-party data to uncover insights about their customers and deliver the relevant, timely experiences they expect.

To stand out with hyper-personalized experiences at every stage of the customer journey, marketers need to start with a solid foundation of actionable insights and be able to move quickly from idea to execution. But traditional marketing clouds, built for a bygone era, slow them down because they lack the ability to collect customer data into one unified view. These limitations have led companies to bolt on additional tools or tap time-stretched data teams as they try to personalize experiences for customers at scale.

“In theory, existing marketing tools should empower brands to launch unique campaigns, but the truth is that they weren’t built to capture the billions of customer signals that exist today,” said Kathryn Murphy, GM of Twilio Engage. “Teams of data scientists can help interpret these signals, but that is complex and time consuming – a costly ‘data tax’. Twilio Engage is simply a better way to build the best customer experiences and relationships.”

Twilio Engage combines Data and Communications

Twilio Engage is the first of its kind: a growth automation platform built on real-time, dynamically changing first-party customer data that allows marketers to quickly build and scale hyper-personalized omnichannel campaigns from start to finish.

The combination of Twilio Segment’s customer data infrastructure with Twilio’s scalable, best-in-class communication APIs gives marketers the ability to easily and quickly build world-class customer experiences. In addition to email and SMS, Twilio Engage offers over 400 integrations right out of the box, making it easy to deliver communications to the right person, across the right channels, at the right time.

Twilio Engage enables marketers to:

  • Know their customers and accelerate campaign delivery: Real-time customer insights, behavior-based automation, and intuitive experimentation tools empower marketers to go from idea to campaign quickly and independently, without overly relying on data teams to pull and analyze data. Developers no longer have to spend precious time collecting, cleaning, and making data usable for marketers.
  • Personalize every interaction: With a foundation built on clean, accurate, real-time first-party customer data, Twilio Engage allows marketers to build audience groups at the micro level, making intelligent, hyper-personalized engagement possible across every channel.
  • Use any combinations of tools, data integration, and analytics: With unlimited API extensibility, Twilio Engage allows marketers to build tailored campaigns and work creatively, integrating any combination of tools to design unique campaigns for any use case.
  • Reach every customer, every time: Marketers can optimize campaigns for deliverability and performance using the platform trusted to send billions of communications every day backed by Twilio’s Super Network. In just this year alone, Twilio powered 25 billion calls, 127 billion messages, and 1 trillion emails.
  • Monitor every campaign in one place: Advanced campaign dashboards offer a single interface for marketers to monitor engagement, troubleshoot issues, and optimize effectiveness in real time for every campaign and on every channel.

“As we’ve grown from a single shop to an international delivery service, our mission has always been providing our customers with the same delightful, one-on-one experience they had on the original store floor, even now at scale,” said Amit Shah, President at “With Twilio Engage, we are able to collect, unify, and connect customer data in real time and build meaningful relationships at every touchpoint of the customer journey. We’re accelerating our digital business and data infrastructure by nearly a decade, and by doing so, delighting our customers.”

The Customer Engagement Platform Vision

With its comprehensive Customer Engagement Platform (CEP), Twilio brings together globally trusted digital channels, data-driven personalization, and leading engagement tools such as Twilio Flex, Twilio Frontline, and now Twilio Engage.

“With the launch of Twilio Engage, Twilio has introduced a new type of platform that has the potential to disrupt monolithic marketing suites and traditional multichannel campaign management tools,” said Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst at Futurum Research. “With this product, Twilio takes on an entirely new market. I believe its ambition here is not just to be the communications layer of the internet, but its customer layer — the platform businesses rely on for all customer interactions and engagements.”

Twilio Engage is now in pilot with general availability expected in Q1 2022.

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