Franchise Marketing: Create a workflow for on-brand Local Area Marketing Graphics - Easil

Franchise Marketing: Create a workflow for on-brand Local Area Marketing Graphics

Franchise businesses heavily rely on their local or neighborhood market for a substantial chunk of their customer base, so community engagement through tailored offerings is no longer just a good idea—it’s a marketing imperative. However, for Franchisors, this comes with its own set of challenges. Customizing local content and marketing materials for the high number of units they manage can be an overwhelming task.

If you’re a Franchisee, you’ve likely felt the frustration. Picture this: you have a golden opportunity to create a local area marketing campaign, but the Franchisors Art Department is swamped with design requests, leaving you in a weeks-long backlog. You could turn to an external design agency, but the process of gathering assets, guidelines, and briefing them is a time-consuming ordeal. Not to mention, the budget concerns of starting the project from scratch are always looming.

On the flip side, the Graphic Design team at the Franchisor operates in a perpetual whirlwind of activity. They are taking care of not only local area marketing requests, but overall brand creative requirements and corporate campaign executions. The workload is intense, as the fluctuations in local store requests can vary significantly not just from week to week, but often from day to day.

This is a common problem in larger groups and organizations, but franchises are particularly susceptible to frustrations with the local area marketing process. Franchisees are running their own business investment, and bottlenecks are potentially causing a reduction in traffic to their stores, and ultimately, also their revenue.


By the time a business starts the franchising journey, they’ve invested a ton of time and money into building its brand. Their visual brand, their brand tone of voice, customer service standards and expectations, store layouts and fit-outs, as well as packaging all require a consistent standard from each unit.

Understandably, they’re protective of their investment. The last thing they want to see is deviations from the brand they’ve been putting all their energies into developing. And often, the reason a Franchisee buys into that company is largely to do with the Brand. All those experiences add up to a successful business and a growing favorable perception in the marketplace.

So back to the bottleneck. On one level, the Marketing and Design teams work on the over-arching branding and campaigns required at the Franchisor National (and International) level. These types of campaigns can feed to local store activities too. Once these campaigns move out into local area marketing initiatives, more people become involved. More changes, more revisions, and more approvals all add up to – more time, and that of course equals a greater cost.

At the local level, Franchisees can feel they’re missing opportunities with marketing and growth due to timeframes associated with requesting materials from internal departments. And in an effort to make things move faster, they source materials from external suppliers or even scrap together assets into a design themselves. This is where things go wrong, and brand standards begin to slip.


Creatives (eg Graphic Designers) enjoy being creative. For the most part, they thrive on utilizing their skills to create new campaigns and solve design and business challenges. Making changes, sending proofs, and repeating the same artwork over and over is tedious, and often not the top of a designer’s wish list of things to be working on day in day out.

The solution to this is for the Graphic Designer in Franchisor/Brand Marketing to create once, and allow the Franchisees access to these templated files, with selected editing and Brand Restrictions enabled, and optional Approval Workflows.

Following solid experience working with many Franchises of all sizes, the team at Easil has developed a robust suite of tools that enable both sides – the Franchisee and the Franchisor, flexibility in producing LAM materials quickly and always on-brand. These tools include:

  • Brand Kit: Not only a place to store the brand logos, font, and colors but also the foundation for allowing Franchisees to make amendments to templates. The Brand Kit also works as a Digital Asset Management system for storing and filing images and short-form video content to be distributed to your teams.
  • Brand Design Templates: Create master document templates that can be shared with the whole company, whilst retaining the original in-tact. Each time a Franchisee clicks on a template, it creates their own copy in their Workspace, that they can edit within your set guidelines.
  • Locking & Restrictions: Fine-grained locking and restrictions settings allow you to control as little or as much as you like within each document. No programming required! These controls are available for both image and video templates.
  • Input Mode: A quick and easy field input tool for users editing templates to update text on the templates to their local content.
  • Smart Text: Complete regularly updated content at a local level, such as store location, phone number, email address, social handles – automatically. Create any custom Smart Text field that requires variable data to populate at the Franchise level.
  • Approvals Workflow: Opt-in Team templates at the Document level, to ensure any graphics or videos that require Approval from Brand Managers are submitted for Approval via Easil.
  • Easil Enterprise Brand Portals: We understand that creating marketing materials does not stop, and sometimes you’ll need assistance with overflow design work (such as creating more bespoke templates for your team or campaign creative development), print fulfilment, mail-drop services, and more. Our additional Easil Enterprise Portal software is available for teams to take advantage of agreed print pricing, dedicated Account Managers with Visual Marketing experience, Budget Management and Credit Allocation for stores, and a full overview of work in progress and spending for your Franchise Brand.


The first step to creating templates and a system for Local Area Marketing is to evaluate the local marketing opportunities. Frequently, what is required for a Franchisee in one area is likely to be repeated in other locations. And within an established Franchise Brand, there will be records of previous promotion requests, along with the results gained from these activities.

Creating an audit of these heavily requested and successful promotions, along with surveying Franchisees will assist in creating a priority of templates that need to be created. The goal of the templates will be to move the most frequently requested artwork requests first, into an application that can free up the Design Team’s time.

We recommend utilizing robust project management software like ClickUp or Asana to compile the list of assets to be created, along with a screenshot or PDFs of the files within the task. With this type of tool, you’ll be able to begin the process of analyzing the creative templates required first and how they’ll be created.

  1. Will your in-house art department build editable templates for the Franchisees to edit?
  2. Are you looking to outsource the creation of the templates, for example to Easil’s Design Studio, to free up time from the in-house team, and get things up to speed most efficiently?
  3. Or will you look to move the work to a freelance designer?

Each of these options will work with assigning the relevant team to your project management tool, moving through the process of creating relevant templates, applying locking and restrictions and optional approval workflow, and then making them available for your Franchisees to access.


Creating a design template that your Franchisees can utilise is almost identical in process to creating your own drag-and-drop designs in Easil. With the help of your Brand Kit setup (adding your brand colors, fonts, logos, photos, and short-form videos), you can build your designs by either starting with Easil templates and modifying them to suit your brand, or you can build your templates from scratch from a blank template.


To make your templates ultra easy for your Franchise Partners to edit, we highly recommend setting up fields with ‘Input Mode’. This feature allows users to quickly tab through and enter content into text fields that are editable, using a side-panel text field input layout.

Editing on the design canvas is still available, but this method allows you to label the fields for the content to be added, and also makes it very clear (at a glance), which content can be edited. Designer role is also required for this component of Template building.

Learn More about Smart Fields and Quick Input Mode in our comprehensive articles, or reach out to our team for a demonstration.


Once you’ve completed your design and any resizes that form part of the collection, you can choose to add locking and restrictions in a fine-grained manner to each element, as well as document level restrictions. The click to lock system in Easil is designed to empower any Designer or Marketer within the team to implement controls over the end-user output, without the need for a developer.

To get started with applying Locking and Restrictions, you’ll need to have Designer role enabled on your profile.

With your completed layout open, you can access the tools in the right sidebar in the Locking tab. Click on any element to begin applying restrictions, choosing from the list of options. Generally, locking all permissions and then deselecting options that will be required for editing is the faster option.

Learn more about locking and restrictions in this article.


If your designs require a high level of compliance, or perhaps you’re wanting to monitor your team’s quality of design output during a training period – you can implement an Approval Workflow on a template by template opt-in basis.

This option allows team members to access templates, complete their changes and then submit back to the Brand Managers to check over the design. Brand Managers then return it to them with either an Approval (and access to download the artwork), or Decline (with optional note for the reason of declining). The Brand Manager also has full control of editing the submitted file. They can make adjustments to quickly brand it to brand standards before returning with an Approval to reduce back-and-forth communications for minor amends.

Learn more about applying the Approval Workflow to your templates in this article.


Inviting your Franchisees to the team forms the last part of the process and the launch of your system.

Depending on which plan you have with Easil, this is either managed through the Team tab (for Easil Plus users), or via your Account Manager if you are an Easil Enterprise Account holder.

Once your team members have accepted the emailed invitation to join, they will have access to all Designs that have been promoted to ‘Team Templates’. Thus, it’s important to have the catalog ready for them to go before they are invited to join the team.

For Easil Plus teams, any team member with ‘Admin’ role applied to their Easil access can invite other users to the team:

  • Click on the ‘Team’ tab in the top navigation bar of Easil and then the ‘Invite Now’ button.
  • In the pop-up window, enter the Franchisee’s Full Name, Work Email and the Roles you like to apply. In general, ‘Member’ is the role that is applied for those users who are accessing templates for their own Franchise Marketing requirements only. Click on the ‘+’ to confirm the first invitee, and repeat if other users are to receive invitations at this time.
  • Click on the ‘Invite’ bottom at the bottom right corner.

Each Franchisee will receive their invitation by email, and be prompted to create a password to access Easil. Following logging in, they’ll be able to access the templates in the ‘Templates > Team’ navigation. If you have restricted access to viewing Easil templates, they will simply see your Team Templates only.

From here, each Franchisee will have access to begin editing templates as per your chosen workflow, and immediately free up your creative team resources. Ensure you notify your network of new template availability and upcoming promotions to assist with regular uptake:

Easil Enterprise client Vision Source notifies their franchisees of new artwork template availability via their LinkedIn page, and internal communications


If your franchise business is looking to seamlessly collaborate with team members globally, a system of local area marketing graphic templates can be the solution. Our team is happy to demonstrate how the Easil system works for teams and how we’ve helped franchise brands scale their visual marketing with ease. Contact us for a time here.

Share via
Copy link