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Your business is running fine, but you still see opportunities for growth. That's why you are considering investing in online marketing. But what is the right way? Do you hire marketing specialists or do you hire a marketing agency? 

In this blog, we first look at what you need to properly execute an online strategy. And then what are the pros and cons of a marketing team internally versus externally.

internal vs external how to set up team

What does a marketing team look like?

To execute an online strategy well, it is ideal if you have a marketing team with several specialists. But there's bound to be a specialist who lays down the entire marketing strategy and executes it all by himself, right? 

Well, there is probably a sheep with five legs somewhere too, but unfortunately, it is not very likely that you will see it hopping past your shop... 😉 

Marketing is so multifaceted that you need several specialists to really get it right. A full marketing team consists of 6 specialists: 

  • Commercial online strategist 
  • Technical marketer for optimal data & analytics
  • Social Ads marketer
  • Search engine ads marketer
  • SEO marketer
  • Content marketer

This team creates a well-oiled marketing machine and ultimately leads to more reservations.

How do you build a marketing team?

Are you just starting out in marketing? Then it might not be a good idea to hire all these specialists at the same time. It costs a lot of money and you do not yet know exactly what results it will give you. With 1 or 2 marketing specialists already, you are already making a good start. Or hire a marketing agency. That way you have the advantages, but not the fixed costs of employed specialists.

Do you already employ a few specialists and want to take your marketing to the next level? Then consider expanding your marketing team further or working with a marketing agency.

internal vs external internal team

When is it right to build an internal marketing team?

If you have sufficient budget, hiring a marketing team is a good move. Don't worry: it doesn't have to be a whole marketing team right away. For example, start with 1 or 2 specialists to set up the basics. And then slowly expand your team. 

Or choose to partner with a marketing agency. That way you get a better sense of exactly what you need, without being tied down to anything.

The benefits of an in-house marketing team

  • They are closely involved in the company and know all the ins and outs.
  • They switch well between management and execution.
  • They are reliable and close.
  • They also arrange peripherals and supplies.

The disadvantages of an in-house marketing team

  • They are not always on top of all the digital developments. That's going hárd! 
  • You need multiple specialists. Spoiler: that sheep with five legs does not exist. 
  • They want to develop further and usually work at a company for two to four years.


internal vs external external team

When is it better to hire an external marketing team?

If you want to cut costs and stay flexible, it is smart to hire an external marketing team. 

A well-equipped and effective marketing team needs about 25 to 40 hours per month per company. For these hours, you hire several specialists from a marketing agency. 

The benefits of an external marketing agency

  • They work for many different companies and learn from different
  • They are always on top of the latest technologies and marketing trends.
  • They have bigger teams that work well together.
  • If a specialist falls ill or transfers to another company, the agency arranges a replacement to take over his/her duties.

The disadvantages of an external marketing agency

  • It is difficult to find a good party with experience in your industry.
  • They are further away from your organisation and therefore do not have all the knowledge of your business.

What is important when selecting an external party?

So finding a really good external agency is quite a challenge. What these external agencies actually do is usually similar, but in execution, agencies differ quite a bit. 

Outline clear expectations. Specify what objectives you want to achieve and when you expect results. Also check whether the agency already has experience with marketing in the hospitality industry and ask for references from their current clients. Before you start, make clear agreements about the tasks the marketing agency will perform. That way, you avoid disappointment.

Take your time to find a match you feel good about. It is all about your business though! So always approach several marketing agencies, and select the one that best suits your hospitality business. 


Internal vs external marketing team combination

Why a combination of internal and external marketing team works well

Perhaps collaborating with an external party puts you off. After all, you like to stay in control and don't have time to answer all sorts of emails. But if you set it up right, collaboration between an internal marketer and an external marketing agency is actually super-efficient.

Additional knowledge

Your own marketer is aware of all internal developments and monitors the house style. You keep control and the external specialists bring knowledge of marketing. They carry out marketing activities within the guidelines.

Better results

By hiring external specialists, your current marketing staff gain new knowledge. You do not have to train your own marketers, but they will continue to develop. This will help you achieve better results and keep your marketers motivated.


You don't have to hire all the specialists right away. By working with an agency, you get the expertise of an entire team. Depending on your needs, you engage the right specialist. Sometimes you use a marketing strategist and other times a content marketer.

Internal vs external marketing team what activities

What tasks do you hire an external marketing team for?

Do you work with a marketing agency? Then you are entirely free to choose which tasks to outsource. Below are a few tasks that are attractive to outsource. 

  • Content marketing: to create good content, it is not necessarily necessary to have knowledge of your business. But a clear briefing or shot list is important here. Remember: garbage in is garbage out
  • Email marketing: get an automated e-mail marketing strategy set up. This takes a lot of work off your hands and generates extra guests. Sending exactly the right message, at the right time, to the right guest: there is no such thing as a more personal digital contact! 
  • Social media: managing your social media can be quite time-consuming. Especially if you want to do it well (think of a nice Instagram feed). By outsourcing this to social media specialists, you also reach more guests. They make sure you are constantly visible and stand out with your content.
  • Marketing analyticsIf you have a lot of data, it takes a lot of time to extract the right insights. Think about reservations, average spend per visit, your guests' preferences and more... Data analysts know exactly which data to analyse and deploy to further grow your business.
  • Marketing strategy: Do you need a fresh look at your entire marketing strategy? External specialists are always fully informed about innovations and new, creative marketing methods. Saves you (or your marketers) hours of Google research! 

Do you outsource the above tasks to an external agency? Then your marketing will definitely get a major upgrade!

internal vs external benefit external

Ready to invest in online marketing?

You now know what you need to really make an impact with marketing. And what the advantages and disadvantages are of a marketing team internally versus externally. 

Do you already know the perfect combination for your hospitality business? Or would you rather just spar with us? You can always do that!





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