Growth Marketing

Learn everything you need to know about growth marketing from the experts at Twilio Segment.


What is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing is an iterative, data-driven approach to increasing customer acquisition, retention, and revenue. A defining characteristic of growth marketing is the focus on experimentation: growth marketers will launch a series of tests throughout the funnel (e.g. personalizing landing pages, A/B testing email subject lines) to better understand user interest, intent, and product-market fit – using these insights to continuously adjust campaigns.

The ultimate goal of growth marketing is to grow the business, by maximizing the value of campaigns, or better engaging customers to ensure long-lasting (and more profitable) relationships.


A growth automation platform

Scale your growth strategy with a blend of automation, communications APIs, and real-time data.

Growth marketing vs. traditional marketing

You may be wondering: how does growth marketing differ from traditional marketing? 

The main deviation is scope. Traditional marketing is focused on the top of funnel, that is: brand awareness and lead generation (i.e. gathering customer contact details like an email address, phone number, etc.). But as we mentioned above, growth marketers are concerned with the entire customer journey – equally focused on acquiring new customers as they are on retaining current ones. 

This has made growth marketing an increasingly cross-functional discipline, often marked by a collaboration between product marketers, designers, data analysts, and engineers.

Frequently asked questions

A growth marketing channel refers to any platform or medium a company uses to connect with customers. Examples of growth marketing channels include:

  • SMS

  • SEO

  • Content marketing

  • Social media

  • Chatbots or in-app messaging

While they appear similar at first, there are key differences between product marketing and growth marketing.

Product marketing is responsible for internally communicating the value of your product to Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success teams to successfully drive go-to-market strategies. Product marketers will conduct customer research and create buyer personas to help define product positioning, answering questions like: how is our product different from its competitors? What’s the unique value proposition we’re offering? This is the messaging that will inform marketing campaigns and sales enablement strategies to drive adoption.

Growth marketing, on the other hand, is responsible for understanding how to scale customer acquisition and retention (usually through experimentation) to generate more revenue for the business. (Growth marketers will likely use product marketing’s go-to-market strategy to help craft their campaigns, but would not be responsible for creating the product messaging themselves.)

Performance marketing is a type of paid digital advertising in which the cost of a campaign is directly tied to how well it performed.

Here’s the gist of how it works: a business or retailer (known as the “advertiser”) will pay a publisher or an affiliate to display their ads. But rather than paying an upfront fee, the price of these paid ad campaigns will depend on their results, like how many impressions the ad received (cost-per-impression), how many users clicked (cost-per-click), or how many leads were generated (cost-per-lead).

Performance marketing is primarily concerned with increasing return on ad spend (ROAS), with branded paid search (i.e. when a user searches company-specific terms) being considered a bottom-of-the-funnel tactic.

But as discussed, growth marketing isn’t limited to a single funnel stage, instead using a series of tactics (beyond paid advertising) to increase their customer base as quickly as possible.

There are countless growth marketing tactics worth exploring, but some examples include:

Search engine optimization (writing SEO-optimized blog content to increase organic blog traffic). Content marketing (gating assets like ebooks, webinars, white papers, etc.) Offering free trials or freemium subscriptions. Launching referral programs. Social media engagement (e.g. conducting Twitter and LinkedIn polls or promoting user-generated content). Email campaigns for lead nurturing.

While growth marketing is known for its experimental approach to campaigns, the foundation for any growth strategy is to first: define your company’s vision for growth (by speaking with executives, teammates, etc.), understand your baseline to measure progress, and ruthlessly prioritize experiments (balancing quick wins with long-term payoffs and ultimate business impact).

Twilio Engage is a growth automation platform, helping businesses to launch personalized, omnichannel marketing campaigns at scale. Built on top of a customer data platform, with the ability to connect to any preferred tool or analytics platform, Twilio Engage allows teams to easily launch cross-channel campaigns and iterate on the fly with real-time data.