Niche Ad Networks Offer Differentiated, Curated Audiences

In a world where consumers expect a relevant, personalized experience on every device they use, niche ad networks might hit the mark in a way others can't. 

Take the Jewish Ad Network, for instance. The network, started late last yearhas been generating interest after being featured in The Wall Street Journal, said Barry Schwartz, president of software development firm RustyBrick, Inc., which launched the Jewish Ad Network.

How did it begin? Schwartz's company, which offers software called ShulCloud that helps synagogues manage newsletters, events, membership and other aspects, wanted to help synagogues find additional sources of revenue.

Clients already include FM Home Loans; an Israeli charity called American Friends of Yad Eliezer; a caregiver site for Jewish families called FrumCare; and Jewish genetic testing company JScreen.

The pitch is simple: The network has access to information on family units, family records and general email lists that can inform targeting based on factors like geography and age or grouped by communities such as Reform Jewish or Orthodox. The company has access to bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah dates, as well as death anniversaries (yahrzeit), so advertisers can target according to those, too.

Other niche networks include the Gay Ad Network, which offers inventory on premium lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sites; Decibel, a platform for "reaching electronic music enthusiasts"; the Gambling Advertising Network, which focuses "just on gambling traffic"; and Gourmet Ads, a private ad exchange for reaching household grocery buyers. All these and plenty others targeting B2B, Millennial and Hispanic audiences provide curated, passionate audiences.

Schwartz said the email open rate for the synagogues he works with averages roughly 50%, which is pretty high. Members want to know what’s going on in the community, he said.

"Not a lot of networks have this data," Schwartz said. "We have a much larger set of data that advertisers can target with that Google and Facebook cannot."

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