Demand Generation Versus Lead Generation in Accounting

Accounting firms must spend time on lead and demand generation, but most do not focus on both because they don’t understand the value of demand generation. 


Unless you’re a marketer, you likely don’t know the difference between demand generation versus lead generation.

(I mean, why should you??)

Don’t worry: I’ll clarify everything in the blog below.

What is Demand Generation?

Ask marketers what their main goals are for video in 2023, and 18.4% will state that it’s lead generation. However, despite the content that you create, you should work on demand generation alongside your lead generation efforts.

In fact, I recommend that you do demand generation first and focus on both together to maximize your marketing efforts.

Demand generation:

  • Creates awareness for your products or services
  • Expands your audience
  • Generates more buzz
  • Improves traffic

Marketers use demand generation to generate interest and awareness for your firm using data-driven strategies.

What is Lead Generation?

When trying to attract new clients, demand generation often results in lead generation. Lead gen is when a prospect shows interest in your services, but now you need to turn this interest into a paying client.

You can think of lead generation as turning interest into paying clients. How you get that interest is demand generation. 

However, there are many key differences between these marketing methods that you may not recognize at first.

Demand Generation Versus Lead Generation

Marketing is all about the approach you take to educate or solve a problem for your clients. While the differences between these generation methods may not be abundantly clear at first, they will impact how you land new accounting firm clients.

Below is a comparison of demand vs lead generation:

  • Goal: Demand generation makes potential clients aware of problems that your company can solve. Small business owners pay an average of 19.8% in taxes, and demand generation explains that your firm’s tax planning can reduce these taxes greatly. Lead generation uses this demand and turns it into a client securing your services.
  • Approach: Demand generation uses free resources to build an audience that follows your firm and views it as an authority in the industry. Lead generation leverages your brand authority to turn interest into sales by demonstrating how using your tax planning (or any service) can improve their business or save money.
  • Engagement: Free content and resources are the main forms of engagement with your audience when using demand gen. Often, lead gen will include gated content that requires an individual to take some form of action, such as calling your firm or supplying their email address in return for a tax planning template or calculator.

You can use demand generation to spark interest and then lead generation to convert leads. Demand generation exists at the start of the sales funnel, while lead gen is at the bottom.

Of course, I used tax planning as an example in the above comparison, but you can use demand or lead generation for any services that you offer.

Examples of Demand Generation

Demand gen can include numerous elements, and the below are just a few examples of this marketing tactic in practice:

  • Starting conversions on social media or joining in on conversations
  • Answering questions through social media, blog posts or other content assets
  • Posting informative, fun videos related to your accounting firm’s offers
  • Creating fun and educational infographics
  • Guest posting on industry blogs
  • Giving away free items
  • Creating interactive content

The content assets that you create through demand generation must be educational and spark interest. However, this content shouldn’t push sales in the same way lead gen does.

Examples of Lead Generation

Lead generation often includes leads from the demand gen side. Your firm may engage in lead gen in numerous ways:

  • Create a free eBook that leads receive if they sign up for your newsletter.
  • Produce a free webinar with a pitch at the end to call to inquire about your service.
  • Provide referral awards programs for anyone that you reach through demand gen.
  • Offer free video courses for anyone who signs up for your newsletter, which you’ll then market to using email marketing.

Lead generation takes the spark of interest that the lead has and works to turn the interest into a new client that your firm can serve.

Combining Demand and Lead Generation for Better Results

Bringing demand and lead generation together makes sense for firms that want to maximize their marketing return on investment. If the current trend continues, clients in 2023 will spend more time evaluating services than they did in, say, 2013.

Potential clients will compare accounting services, prices, services and more before working with a firm.

You can still land clients with just lead generation, but when you have a demand generation strategy in place, it helps:

  • Eliminate cost inefficiencies of just using lead gen on its own
  • Improve conversion rates because potential leads are already aware of their problems and the solutions you offer

Demand gen will help you expand your audience and grab a larger market share by providing free, valuable content to your audience. 

If you have the right lead generation strategy in place, your team will be ready to convert clients as they move through the buyer journey and learn about your firm through demand gen.

Final Thoughts

The State of Lead Conversion in Marketing and Sales found that just 12% of marketers are satisfied with their conversion abilities. A major aspect of combining both demand and lead generation is having the support in place to properly:

  • Screen leads to improve lead quality
  • Collect data on the leads to reduce conversion gaps
  • Follow up with leads and provide support

If you or your marketing team can screen leads and collect data on your leads properly, combining demand and lead generation together can fill your client pipeline. However, even if you don’t have these resources in-house, you can work with a marketing company like ours that does have these processes in place.

Want to learn more about lead and demand generation and how we can help? 
Click here to schedule a meeting with us.

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