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Oct. 14, 2021

Episode 080 - Dynamic Digital for Automotive w/ Gina Gordon of Lucit

Episode 080 - Dynamic Digital for Automotive w/ Gina Gordon of Lucit

Buckle up for this one! We are joined by Gina Gordon, CEO at Lucit, to discuss improving the way we interact with digital billboards. Gina explains how Digital OOH helps automotive dealers display their inventory and pricing. Lucit’s application reduces friction by being connected to the inventory on the lot. This way those billboards are current and consistently updated.

Lucit is an inventory platform designed to improve the way automotive dealers promote and publish their dealership management systems.


  • Digital billboards nowadays are dynamic digital, however, they are often considered to be traditional media.
  • Car dealerships create the best marketing campaigns when combining someone who knows the ins and outs of the current inventory and traditional lease ads. This gives a well-rounded approach to engaging prospect buyers.
  • Lucit has the ability to create a campaign that segments inventory and where it is being shown. For example, it can allow advertisers to target a specific market that has budget parameters such as a lower-income area. 
  • OOH has a history of not doing well with automotive because:

 1. It has not been truly dynamic digital until now.

 2. Billboards have been seen and historically sold as long-term branding.

 3. It is often seen as a secondary buy because analytics and ROI are not as clearly determined as online campaigns.


Looking for your next job in OOH? Start here: www.oohired.com


Welcome back to another episode of out-of-home insider today's guest is Gina Gordon, CEO of lucid. A company that connects live inventory feeds to a dynamic creative engine, so that realtors, automotive dealers and anyone with high ticket things to sell can create thousands of custom digital billboards listing the things you sell with the click of a.

The real-time analytics app is an industry first feature that gives advertisers control of their billboard campaign on the go for media owners loose, it levels the playing field making billboards just as attractive as online ads. When wanting to work with the real estate or automotive verticals. Check out lucid.

I'm a one screen directory@onescreen.ai and schedule a demo to see how it can be a cornerstone for your creative strategy. That's one screen. AI and schedule a demo without further ado. Let's go welcome everybody to the out-of-home insider show, a podcast like no other hosted by the one and only Tim Rowe.

You ready to have some knowledge dropped on. You went to be entertained because nothing is more valuable than food for your brain. So sit back, relax. We're about to dive in as the best industry podcast is the bathroom. Gina. Thanks so much for. Thank you for having me. Absolutely. So you are like many of us not from out of home.

I don't know anyone who's actually just from out of home, maybe, uh, maybe our friend Daniel Wilkins at 6, 7, 2 a bit of a family legacy there, but how'd you get into this whole game? Oh, that's interesting. Um, I am not for sure. Uh, an out-of-home veteran in any way, and I've had a real crash course in the last.

Uh, probably a year and a half. Um, so my, my co-founder and I, we came from the online world. Um, and what we did was we worked with backend data systems, pulling an inventory. Um, that inventory can be basically anything, um, mostly automotive systems, MLS systems, um, you know, um, recreation, boat, dealers, RVs, anything that has a sophisticated backend system.

We pull that up. Um, and then we market that on the internet and we've been doing that for a long time. That's nothing new to us. It's nothing new to the advertisers. Um, so, so really that's what we did. We left our, our, our previous company. We started this company because we saw that there was kind of a real need in, in the billboard market to be able to do this because basically these billboards are just screens connected to the internet.

Um, and they can run all of this. So, so we thought, well, why can't we just connect all this inventory? Um, so we had the idea, right? So my, my co-founder and I, we had this idea, um, and then we decided, okay, well we need to execute this. And first it was just a concept, right? So with a concept it's difficult to even sell a concept.

I said, we need an application. So we really pushed getting, getting an app, built a client facing app, um, to be able to. Really give that control back to the advertiser. Um, and I think that that's important because engagement with digital billboards is like zero right now. I mean, who's engaging with their digital billboard campaign.

Um, you know, like they tell on social media, nobody's really, nobody's really doing that, um, to, to, to refine that point, um, for the audience here, when we say connecting inventory, what we're literally talking about is connecting potentially an automotive. There's inventory, the cars that are on there, lot to the creative on a digital billboard.

Um, okay. Okay. Um, to dealer management software. So we directly connect to that. We pull it in, we check every 60 minutes for that. Um, so if there's a price change on a vehicle, if a vehicle has sold, we're going to know that within 60 minutes, we'll pull it down off with their digital billboard campaign.

It's all automated. They don't have to worry about any stale inventory, any incorrect pricing. They don't have to email creatives to their sales reps. Um, they can run thousands of vehicles in a month if they want to. Uh, and then they get stats on each one individually. So it's really something that. We weren't really even sure.

Uh, you know, how much engagement there would be. We thought, well, because I, I I'll tell you, I'll go back a little bit. I worked with about 150 auto dealer clients, regionally that were my clients. Um, so I kind of understood, you know, how they buy, why they buy and what they buy over the years. Um, and starting, starting in, in internet advertising in 2009, uh, you know, even back then, digital was probably 5% of the.

You know, so I was newspaper ads, right? I mean, it was, it was back page of the newspaper. We got thumbnail images of the vehicles. Um, and I remember, I remember talking to some of these dealers and saying, you know, why do you, why do you do this? You know, because the Backpage is, is expensive and it's, by the time it goes to print, you know, 80% of that is sold.

It's not a lot. So I asked why they did. And they said, because it works, it works. And I thought, okay, well it must work for them. Right? So when Autotrader, CarGurus, and, and all these things came up, it was such a natural transition for these dealers to, to move all this inventory online because the inventory is what sells inventory.

I mean, show them what you have, you know? Um, so I think that was the whole, the whole thing. Was to see that, to see that transition, that movement of dollars from, you know, a very small part of your budget is digital to most of it is your digital budget. And then I think something that I've really kind of focused on since we've been doing this is, is understanding in the out-of-home market.

How, how digital truly is. And I feel like it's not being used as, as truly dynamic digital product. Um, so it makes me wonder if when, when a sales rep, when a billboard sales rep walks into an auto dealer, Are they, are they trying to get, they're trying to get them to buy a digital billboard, but is that auto dealers saying, no, I don't have the budget for that because that's not in my digital budget.

You know what I'm saying? I mean, is, is digital still in a tradition? Is digital billboards or billboards in general? Are they still in this bucket of traditional media? And if so, why is it. You know, so, so kind of trying to move, move away from that and saying, this is truly dynamic digital. This isn't just, um, you know, in the beginning, I guess when, when auto dealers would, would place an ad on a digital billboard or on a billboard in general, it would just be a static ad.

It would be running for 12 months. It would just be here's our B you know, here's our dealership. We've been in business for 50 years and here's our branding ads. And that's all. It was, well, then digital came in and then the reps were like, Hey, we can run, we can run specials. And they're like, okay, good.

We'll run Lisa ads. So then they get those incentives and they run those leads ads, but that's still not how it's meant to be done because that's still, yeah. We'll change out the ad once a week. But that's not truly dynamic digital. So to be able to go in and really pull, pull that inventory and promote what you need to promote.

If you have a vehicle that's age 90 days, if you need to get it off your lot, um, you know, that used inventory is, is where it's at. So to be able to have a vehicle to do that in out of home is, is extremely important. And, and I think it, it really. Creates a different conversation, um, for the sales rep to go in and be able to actually sell them something that nobody's sold them.

So the concept itself isn't new, but it's new to out of home. So, so it's exciting. It's really cool to be a part of that. It's very core to be a part of that. And as someone who came from automotive and bought and sold a lot of media, either to automotive or on behalf of automotive, um, actually a client of mine, uh, from, from those days.

And I were just talking right before this and he. Expressing how hard it is to work with his agency to get creatives for his five dealerships websites and how much of a pain in the butt that process is. And Tim, you know, do you think that I should hire somebody in house and you know, these are the conversations, these are the challenges that automotive dealers have.

So when we present to them an option, like a digital billboard, and here are all the ways you can use it. A dealer sent my sit back in their chair and go, I can't get my website banners on time. Let alone think about doing 400 different pieces of creative for digital billboard, everything you're saying sounds great, but I don't have the resources to manage a process like that.

And that's, that's really what lucid is solving. You're you're you're, you're making it easy for automotive dealer dealer groups to sit back and say, Hey, you know what? Digital home makes sense for us because it's going to plug right into the inventory we have on the lot. If there's a price change, our billboards is going to change.

We don't have to pick up a phone. We don't have to call a creative team. We don't have to get our agency involved. You're really removing all of the friction. In the middle. Is that a fair summation? You know what that's exactly your exact term is what we always would actually what my co-founder Eric, he's always saying remove friction.

And I think that that's what we tried to do the entire time with, um, the design of the application to make it, the UI is very easy, simple. User-friendly even though it is complex on the backend and it can be very complex with MLS systems and things. Um, but we made it really simple because at the end of the day, you know, the dealers actually have a ton of resources, even just in their dealer management software and tons of capabilities that they can take advantage of.

But I think the problem is that there's so much that, you know, 95% of it doesn't even get used. So it's, it's like, I don't even know how to use this, but we've got buttons to do this, this and this. Um, so it's almost overkill. Um, and we say that a lot too, just in general, even about. Um, you've got every single sales rep trying to take credit for the sale of that vehicle.

You know, like, well, Nope. See, we did this, so we must have sold X amount of your vehicles. So said they heard a radio ad, but we haven't been on radio in nine years. It's exactly true because the customers aren't the greatest historians. They have no idea, you know, they're like, I I've heard of you before.

Right. Um, so it's really difficult to, to gauge ROI and I get that that's important and they get, they get those analytics everywhere. Um, and they have to have some sort of a basis to kind of gauge what's working and what's not working. Um, we give them as much as we can. So, so we give that dealer notifications when something has sold and come off of their billboard.

Um, that's partly to reinforce that that that campaign is working for them. Um, and it's, it's also to remind them if they are doing manual entry, that they need to add a new vehicle. Um, but they do have the option to not do manual. They can just set it and say, Hey, I want to show my vehicles that are priced, um, 10 to 20,000 under a hundred thousand miles.

Um, so we can set parameters and we usually just do that on kickoff where we just say, okay, here's the data. We got it in. Um, here's the creative template? Uh, what do we want to run and where, so we can even, we can even target certain parts of town and things. Um, so we can get pretty granular with the data.

Just anything that we get in, we can then sort and target by those, those things. Um, and really that's, that's kind of simple, right? So there's targeting on so many levels that can get really crazy and wild, but ours is just really kind of a simple client facing application that says, here you go, you press a plus sign.

If you want to promote this vehicle, you go ahead and just press a little garbage can to delete this vehicle, you know, and it's, it's that easy. And when you press the plus sign, it generates that creative. It runs on the billboard with. So I think that this is just something that when I, when I, when I kind of first started using this, playing around with the application, building new features, I thought, you know, I don't know if these dealers want to do this because from years of working with them, you have in a dealership, you, you maybe have an agency, right.

An ad agency that's running the ads. Um, the bigger ones for sure. You maybe have a marketing person in house, which is great if you do, and you maybe don't have either of those things and you have the general manager, that's having to, you know, deal with the advertising. And I say deal with it because they have a million other things that they are doing.

They don't want to actually deal with all this advertising. Um, and they get reps coming in nonstop. We've got the best thing. This is what you need to be doing. And it's really hard to kind of sift through all that. That's a full-time job and they already have, you know, they have a dealership to run. So I think.

The biggest thing that I would like to see happening too, is to when these reps go in and they. They show them loose. It I'd like them to be able to show it to let's say the used car manager or the general manager. And if there is a marketing person, um, I feel like they're a little bit more traditional in that the marketing person will go and they'll submit requirements for co-op and they'll run, lease ads and they'll run branding ads.

Um, but they're not really married to that inventory in the way that they should be. And I think that those two pieces together should run together. So I think that that having. Somebody that's living and breathing that inventory such as the used car sales, you know, the used car manager knows, you know, I need to get rid of this one or I, I got the best trade on this one.

Right. So they know kind of the ins and outs of, of all of that inventory. So I think being able to have both of those, those things work together are what creates the best campaigns for auto dealers. And I think that we can kind of do that with lucid because we kind of have the. Uh, both worlds. Cause you can, you can upload just a regular creative too, so they can run their lease ad and then they can just schedule it and say, okay, well we're going to run this lease ad the second week of the month, before we get these incentives, we're going to run our used inventory and we're going to hit it hard.

So I think that all of that stuff, there's a place for all of it, but we really do focus on inventory because. It is, it is what, what they have to sell. And it's what you show the people, what you have to sell, you know, engage with them over. It's so interesting because as you know, over the last 20 years and being around automotive and seeing that shift to digital, and now you've got multiple digital dealer conferences and NAD, and everything's about like digital market.

Google analytics and all these sorts of things. But I think something interesting that happened during COVID. And I'd be curious to hear your feedback on this during COVID dealers, for the most part stopped advertising because they didn't know what their businesses was going to look like tomorrow. How are they going to sell cars?

Are we going to be able to sell cars? How is that going to change? And they put, they threw a pause on everything and what they found was. The franchise laws in the United States of America protect franchises. That if I'm looking for a Toyota, then guess what? I'm going to shop. The two or three Toyota dealerships closest to me.

I don't necessarily need to be spending a hundred thousand dollars a month on Google. Facebook ads. So wait a second. I never needed to be spending all this much money anyway, because I'm a franchise dealer. And if someone wants to buy a Toyota, then they're going to have to at least give me a look. And to your point about the inventory availability, do you have the car I'm looking for?

If so, how much are you selling it for? And if you do those two things. Um, you're probably going to have a seat at the table when the buyer's ready to make a decision. What you've done is give dealers a way to diversify that marketing mix in a way that's really budget-friendly gives them the dynamic capability of listing all of their inventory, some of their inventory.

Uh, there's two things I wanted to talk about. Which was around the targeting aspect and around the app engagement aspect. I think that both of those things are really important. Uh, for someone who's listening to this that maybe you're on your way to an automotive dealer, to have a conversation, the ability to target a specific piece of the market with a specific type of.

Budget parameter. Maybe we know that there's a, a few zip codes that are lower income or have a history of, um, you know, what we call secondary credit or stressed credit situation. Maybe I only want to show them vehicles in that 10 to $20,000 price range, because I know that that's the type of vehicle that does well there.

Versus I want to show this piece of premium pre-owned inventory on this side of town. When you talk about targeting, is it, is it that granular? Am I able to segment the inventory and where I'm showing. Yes. Yes, you can create, we can create separate campaigns. Um, so I mean, even if you have a rural area and you say, you know what, I'm going to run all my trucks here because this makes sense.

This is my audience. Um, we can, we can set that up. So any, any data that we get in, we can set up a campaign based on that. It kind of depends on a lot of factors. It depends on really their, their billboard campaign. Um, you know, how many locations they have and, and how that operator chooses to rotate them and, and what the, what the capabilities are of that operators, player, software, all, all of those things are probably going to be coming into play.

Um, but yes, all of those things are very, very doable. Um, we can, we can target by any of those things, and it does make a lot of sense to do that. Um, even for, for real estate, that makes a ton of sense, um, to, to advertise certain houses in the area that they're available. Um, so, so yeah, it's, it's a really exciting thing.

And real estate has, I mean, I'm kind of pivoting to real estate, but real estate has been so. Hot and exciting for us too. So I think that is kind of been our focus over the last probably six months just because the auto industry is, is having some issues with, with the chips and just having issues in general with, with inventory.

Um, so when you're selling an inventory product for automotive and they have no inventory, Um, it's one of those things that we're going to wait this out and, you know, it's, it's sad that they, that it's a struggle right now, but it is. Um, and so I think it will recover, but until it starts to recover, we're definitely kind of shifting the focus to.

Real estate and other types of data, but it makes sense. And that's the beauty of, of the technology that you have, anything that has an inventory feed. Um, you could potentially port that in. If there's someone listening to this now, wondering how do I work with Lucy? How are you? Set up to work. Is it strictly with billboard owners?

Is it directly with advertisers, uh, themselves? Is it a little bit of both? How do y'all work with folks? You know, and we can do it either way. Um, we have had clients that have heard just actually just heard about us and said, Hey, you know, we want to use this software. And then we said, you know, do you have a billboard contract currently?

And if they do, then they should just go talk to their rep. Um, because we have integrations, not full integrations with every player software, but we are, it's getting better. But yeah. Um, so we have at least partial integrations with, with most, um, so at that point they can, they can go to their billboard sales rep and say, Hey, I heard about this software.

We want to use this. We want to rotate our staff and we want. Um, so, so there's that if they don't have that, we can say, well, we can call around and we can get you some pricing. So, so it's, you know, at some point we probably won't be able to do that. We are, I think our biggest trouble right now is finding staff fast enough.

Um, so we really need to staff up at this point, um, because it is getting busier and busier and, and that's great. And so we just need to kind of work through all that, but, um, yeah, so you can do it either way, uh, Through through an operator or through us, uh, usually what's happening is the operators are calling with interest and saying, you know, we, you know, automotive has been historically difficult for us.

And I think there's a number of reasons that it's that way I can't say for sure. But like, why do you think if you had to pick one or pick your top three, why do you think out of home hasn't done well with automotive. I think it hasn't been truly. Till now that would be my number one. Um, I think billboards are seen and have been historically sold as just long-term.

This is just long-term branding. This is nothing more. Um, I think the third one is that, um, with it not being truly dynamic, I don't think that there is a way for them. I think that they see it as, as a secondary buy because they aren't able to get. In the same ways that they are with online. So I think that that would be the third thing is that they feel like their ROI can't really be determined on billboards.

It's more of a, just, yeah, we do that. And that's our brand and it kind of gets stuck in that little here's our branding, you know? Um, so I think that giving a more animal. Helps giving them more control, engaging them more. That is a huge thing. Um, I think I was kind of touching on this like three times. So I'm gonna go back to this, but I really didn't.

That the auto dealers would engage the way they are real estate agents. Absolutely. There are different clients, you know, they have their own inventory. They're going to manage it on their phone. They're in it all the time. Like they are their social media. Um, so that was something we kind of knew would be hands-on.

But, but the extent at which the auto dealers are actually going in and engaging with their billboard campaign is, is a little bit shocking to me. I didn't realize like it's at least three to five times a week that there's people logging into. And so at that point, it's like, it's a, I mean, it's a home run because.

When have they done that before? I wouldn't, even if somebody would have told me a year ago that you could engage with the digital billboard, I'd say, no, you can't. I mean, how so? It's amazing. You know, now you've got me thinking about that used car manager. Who's always in V auto and they're always adjusting pricing and they're always shopping, you know, Hey, you know, the competitor down the street is priced their vehicles, you know, to this, you know, we're at 30 days supply, where do we want to be?

Right there. They're in it. They're in the weeds. So to hear that there in the lucid app, that much to just see, Hey, my billboard random, I might, my creative really is dynamic and I just uploaded this car and look at it. Look, it's already here. That's that's incredible. Funny. I came from the agency world. So spend a bunch of years on the, on the retail side of automotive, went to the vendor side, came back to retail as marketing director for a dealer group in Pennsylvania.

And the first thing I did was fire the billboard company. Now this is a few years ago, I've since recovered and learned the ills of my way. I know. But the first thing I did was fire the billboard company. And it's exactly for the reasons that you just pointed out Gina, because the conversation that was being had with me as somebody who had bought a lot of media had done a lot of digital performance marketing related stuff for dealerships.

The conversation that the billboard rep was having with me was around impression. And I thought that's, that's adorable, but impressions don't sell cars. But if you were to talk to me about audience and Hey, we can see the people that were exposed to your billboard and how much foot traffic your dealership has relative to other stores of your same brand in the market.

Like those are the, some of the things that we're doing at one screen. Something like loose. It is so exciting to me because we're having good intelligent conversations with dealers about data specifically, the conversations we're having are around static, um, with the ability to use dynamic digital in the way that you've described as a compliment to a static program.

I mean, that's a full stack funnel. That's a full marketing funnel top to bottom. If folks want to learn more about lucid connect with you, Gina, what are, what are your latitude and longitude? How do folks get in touch with lucid? They can go to our website. It's just loose it www.lucid.cc. They can call us.

Um, you can go to our Facebook page. They can any, any, all of the. All of the above. We'll make sure to link out to it below. Let me ask you a question before you go, are you a podcast listener or are you a reader? Where do you go for inspiration education? Motivation. What's a, what's something you could leave the folks with here today.

Where should they be? Uh, be turning for things like that. I actually do read a lot of, as far as this is concerned, the industry publications, I do read them, um, just to stay up on. Yeah. Out of home, out of home publications. Yeah. Who do you like, who do you like? You can plug anybody here on this show.

GoBoard insider and all which today are kind of the ones I'm cause I, yeah, they really are. Um, because they give you really what's going on and what's new and what's exciting and maybe it's not new and maybe it's not exciting, but it's at least it's it's it's content and, and they, they push out this content for us to kind of understand.

And it's been really valuable to us coming from the online world. It was always like, We were, oh, you sell this way. Okay. Okay. Here's a slot. Oh, now you do a quarter slot. Wait a minute. Now it's six seconds. Wait. They did at eight seconds, you know, so we had to really kind of shift our focus and kind of understand, you know, okay, this isn't, this isn't internet, it's different.

Um, and we're not trying to make it internet, but it's definitely very different than, than internet advertising. Um, but we wanted to bring all the great things about internet advertising. To our application. So I think that's kind of what, what we, what we did was we were able to give that real-time feeling that, you know, that feeling when you have a post on social media and you get a like, right.

You're like, oh, that's nice. That's a good, that's a good feeling. You know what I mean? And then, and then a dealer, you know, same thing when they have a. And they get a little notification. That's like, Hey, your, your, your vehicle is sold on your billboard. They're like, oh, that's cool. You know, maybe that billboards working.

So that's great credit. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that, you know, and, and we always say here, it's like, the thing we say is that we can't out Google, Google, we can't out Facebook, Facebook, and we're not trying to, because we're never going to win that battle. It's going to, you know, you can get granular with those analytics to, to the point where it's overkill and we're never going to do that.

Billboards or different billboards are like this thing where people are like, how do I even get on one? I want to be on a billboard, you know, because it's like, the stakes are so much higher. You can be on an internet ad and it's like, oh, well, whatever. But if you're on a billboard, It's like you've arrived right.

At any, in any kind of business. It doesn't matter if you're a small town, it doesn't matter what it is. It's like, wow, I'm on a billboard. And I think it just, it just lends a lot of legitimacy to your business and it creates brand trust, I think, throughout your community. So creating that brand trust, I don't think happens in a lot of other ways.

So it's something kind of magical that happens with billboards in general. Couldn't agree more. Our customer officer Greg wise, he says it this way. He says, nobody congratulates you for a Facebook ad. People can actually let you for doing a bit of work. Doesn't make any sense. It could be your hundredth billboard.

Congratulations. It's incredible. It is. It really is. Cause it's, it's so true. Gina, give us one big prediction for automotive and out of home. We're going to come back to this a year from now. What's your biggest prediction for automotive and the way that they use out-of-home advertising. I think they're going to do it truly, truly dynamic the way it should be done.

I think that we are going to make a huge impression on the automotive industry and the out-of-home industry. And I think that everybody's going to know. I think that the biggest thing is to get out of. Um, to, to let people know that this. Because I think that that's been the main thing. Um, I've had reps say that they went into auto dealers and they said, Hey, we can connect to your DMS system.

And they're like, finally, you know, because it's not a new con, it's not a new concept. Right, right. This isn't like, this is a brand new concept. So I think that once they know they can, they're not going to want to do it any other way. Why would you ever want to, you're not going to do it any other way.

You're going to have your inventory in your out of home. Um, so I think that giving them a really simple, beautiful interface, easy vehicle to do it is going to really, I don't want to say transform the industry because I'll make fun of myself saying that. Um, so it's not, it's not going to be transformative, but I think it's definitely going to change the way that they think about digital billboards.

And if we can do that, like that's a huge win. So put a pin in it. I second that Gina, thanks so much for. Thank you so much for having me. Absolutely. If you found this to be helpful, interesting. Any of the above, make sure to share it with somebody else who could benefit down below in that corner there that's the subscribe button, make sure to smash it and we'll see y'all next time.

Yeah. I finally came to my senses. I finally got my hand up on the tinted. And my tinted lenses with the dream and the drive, the possibilities, endless friends that send this all the way to Tokyo. Take a trip down south van in Mexico. Next step, Shang how the world-class trade show of course, class all the way.