FrontGate Media Reaches 15 Year Milestone
Leading Marketing Agency serves as Gateway
to the Christian Audience
Orange County, CA (October 4, 2016) – In our modern era, filled with disposable products and instant gratification, longevity is rare. Sustainability is a common catch phrase, but “15 minutes of fame” is still the norm. In fact, the average lifespan of a company has plummeted to 15 years. But going against the trend, FrontGate Media is celebrating 15 years as a marketing services firm, and their growing client base proves there is no end in sight.
Scott A. Shuford founded FrontGate Media in 2001 after a successful 10+ years with Frontline Music Group, Diamante Distribution and the sale of one of the first Christian music web sites, Gofishnet.com to Crosswalk.com. Initially begun as an offshoot of FrontGate Creative, his full-service ad agency known for its work for Del Taco, World Vision, OCTFCU and others, FrontGate Media’s mission was to impact culture by creatively connecting companies with the Christian audiences they sought to influence. Fast-forward to 2016 where FrontGate Media has been described by The Washington Times as “…the significant player in the faith market for companies who want culture-engaged, active, faith and family values based consumers.” This consumer group represents one out of every 6 American adults that collectively spend $2 trillion a year.
When asked what goals he had hoped to reach at the 15-year milestone, Scott quickly shared, “Survival. FrontGate exists in the space where marketing and technology collide. The space where those areas touch doesn’t lend itself to 15-year plans. We’ve had to evolve as marketing and technology evolved, so every few years there’s something significant that affects what we do.”
Born at a time when banner advertising and email newsletters began to grow in popularity, FrontGate was the first media group to be founded by a marketer for the purpose of promoting Christian products, services and causes, rather than by a publisher for the purpose of publishing content. An early differentiator was the firm’s preference for sites and events with high engagement, not merely large traffic volume.
The group found early success in bringing together several hugely popular web sites, events, and magazines including iTickets.com, Women of Faith’s conferences, Christian Musician, Youth Specialties, K-LOVE’s Christian Music Planet, Gospel Music Channel, Winter Jam, and several Summer music festivals and tours. Today, FrontGate’s Web & Event Network reaches over 10 million unique visitors monthly and 17 million email subscribers through market leaders including NewReleaseToday, The Washington Times, Blue Letter Bible, Christian Cinema, Rapzilla, the Ascend Women’s Conference, Thelma Wells’ Generation Love Conferences, and more.
The firm continued to evolve. Early on, clients began to request Public Relations services after seeing the releases and coverage FrontGate was achieving for internal announcements about client campaigns and media outlet milestones. In 2007, just one year after the founding of Twitter and 3 years after “The Facebook”, marketing and technology collided again and the firm found the opportunity to become first Christian agency to provide Social Media services. As success with client ad campaigns in the media group continued, Media Buying requests began to come in. After years of work across advertising, public relations, event marketing and social, the firm launched Strategy Development, coming full circle to Founder Scott A. Shuford’s history as a full-service agency, but now specialized to reach Christians.
With the firm’s unique focus on reaching the Christian audience, rather serving a single industry vertical, FrontGate’s client base spans multiple categories including working with ad agencies, start-ups, travel, non-profits and causes, pastors and churches, movie studios and indie filmmakers; publishers and authors; music labels, artists and managers; retailers; education from elementary to continuing ed, and more.
Serving from 20-40 clients each month ranging from complex launch campaigns to single ad runs, FrontGate has worked on more than 5,000 campaigns. They have served a diverse clientele including such notable Agencies as Carat, Tocquigny, Media Storm, DigitasLBi, Redbird and others. Non-profits include Open Doors, Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs, National Day of Prayer, AARP’s LifeReimagined, Compassion International, Gospel for Asia, The Seed Company, Mission: Pre-Born, PureHOPE, and World Vision which honored the firm as their #1 emedia partner for 6 six years in a row. Publishing clients include Tyndale, HarperCollins’ Thomas Nelson, Zondervan and Harlequin; Baker Publishing Group – Bethany House, and others. Movie campaigns include: The Passion of the Christ, The Chronicles of Narnia franchise, Heaven Is For Real, God’s Not Dead, Son of God, Soul Surfer, The Young Messiah, The Nativity Story, the Word Films roster, and many more. Church-related work spans coast to coast from Pastor Rick Warren‘s Saddleback Church team in Orange County, CA to Apostle Guillermo Maldonado’s El Rey Jesus in Miami, FL. Leaders in Christian education include Liberty University, Dallas Theological Seminary, Fuller Seminary, Biola University, Bridgeway Academy and more. Some of the most exciting recent projects include the launch campaigns for Bible VR, FaithFollow.com’s Christian social community, internationally renowned recording artist Steph Carse’s My Shining Hour TV special and album, and brand development work for Kingdom Games, Seed of Abraham Ministries, and Wendie Pett: vegan fitness and wellness expert, TV host, and author.
When asked about favorite projects over the years, Shuford responded, “It’s tough to choose. We strive to move every client forward in their lifecycle, from the largest to the smallest client. I’ve learned that just about every endeavor we work on has value and makes a significant difference in people’s lives.”
When pushed, he cites three projects, “There are three that make me smile whenever they cross my mind. First, when the tsunami hit at Christmas in 2004, as I watched the news with family at my mother-in-law’s house in Jackson, MS, I knew I’d get a call from World Vision. Two hours later I did. Within 48 hours, during everyone’s Christmas vacation, our team coordinated and sent millions of tsunami relief emails. Being able to help immediately for such a catastrophic world event at that specific time of year is one of my greatest joys. Second, in our work for El Rey Jesus, we transformed a school backpack giveaway from a humble church-based pick up day helping 750 families to a Miami media event reaching 12,000 families and engaging 10,000 church members. Finally, as part of our work for Pope Francis’ “Wake Up!” spoken word album, we created one of the most culturally, ethnically, and denominationally diverse companion devotionals ever published featuring 7 amazing Faith leaders helping to engage people with the Pope’s messages, and provided it free to everyone.”
FrontGate’s unique focus and mission have resulted in many accolades including numerous features and interviews in highly respected business publications such as Direct Marketing News, Orange County Business Journal, ADWEEK, The Daily Beast, and more. In 2014, FrontGate Media was awarded the Internet Advertising Competition’s (IAC) highest honors for Best Marketing Website and Best Faith-Based Website. The firm has been recognized multiple times in both the IAC and the WebAwards.
So what keeps Scott motivated as he turns the corner on the next 15 years? He explains, “What excites me most is the variety of projects we get to work on. We certainly don’t get stuck in a rut as we move between our client projects like overhauling a church or ministry’s donor development program, to marketing a film, to coordinating a client’s participation across 5 women’s conference events, to launching two new technology-driven products/services to the Christian community, to working with an author, and laying out the marketing strategy for a worship project. I touched all those projects today.”
In the end, FrontGate Media’s ultimate driving force will continue to be moving the needle for both their clients and the faith-based audience. For Shuford, it is an eternal win to connect believers, Jesus, faith, and technology.
For more information about FrontGate Media, please visit www.FrontGateMedia.com.
About FrontGate Media
Award-winning FrontGate Media (www.FrontGateMedia.com) is the largest Marketing Service and Web & Events Group reaching the faith and family values audience. Serving as “Your Gateway to the Christian Audience,” the firm provides Faith-based market Strategy Development, Public Relations, Media Buying, and Social Media Marketing. FrontGate’s own Web & Events Network also provides reach to more than 10 million people and 17 million email subscribers. Founded in 2001, FrontGate has repeatedly been honored in the Internet Advertising Competition and the Web Awards. The company plays a key role in the success of for-profit and non-profit organizations seeking the faith-based and family-friendly audiences.
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Pope Francis Devotional – Press Release
Pope Francis’ Wake Up! Devotional PDF