I am a husband, a father, a runner and a marketer. And, over the last year or so, I’ve added a new label … Pit Bull Rescuer.

I am a husband, a father, a runner and a marketer. And, over the last year or so, I’ve added a new label … Pit Bull Rescuer.

So far, we’ve had nearly twenty dogs pass through our home on their way to forever homes. We’ve had 3-hour old puppies, a german shepherd riddled with cancer, abuse cases, and runaways. We’ve had to put weight onto skin-and-bones and slim down the obese.

I’ve had my heart broken by handing over fosters I love to homes that will love them just as much. I’ve jumped for joy when I gleefully handover the leash of certain, “high-spirited,” mongrels to new owners. I’ve felt the pain when learning a dog we thought we saved didn’t make it. And I’ve had a foster that I loved so much I couldn’t let him go (#FosterFailure).



It is an incredibly rewarding experience and a fantastic life lesson for my kids. It has taught them to love all animals – yours or not. They understand that there is a world outside of themselves and it is their responsibility to help take care of it. They’ve learned self-sacrifice in accepting the loss of a loved dog to adoption, so we can help another dog.




I’ve learned a few things from pit bull rescue too … and some of them relate back to banking.

Some of the Worst Cases Are the Best to Have Around
Some of the sweetest, most loving, lap sleeping, face licking dogs come from unthinkable situations. Dogs that have no earthly reason to trust a human being end up showing the most love. I’m not sure, but I like to think it’s appreciation. An understanding that someone is treating them in a way that no one else ever has before.

Now, look at the people in your branches. Think about those that have a checking account or bought a car with a loan from you that have been turned away from other institutions. I work with credit unions and community banks from all over the country and I hear the same story … these customers are very much like our mistreated pit bulls … they can become fiercely loyal. And, with a little training and help, can become powerful assets to your institution.

You Can’t Save Them All
Every single day, we see pit bulls in shelters with only days or hours left. Most are pups who’s only problem is that they did not have people who loved them properly. While we want to save every single dog in our region, the fact is that we have limited foster homes, a limited budget for vet bills and a finite amount of dog food.

No one on earth will treat people in your community better than your credit union or bank. There’s no argument there. You want to save them all … but you can’t! You have a limited budget and specific corporate objectives that not everyone will help attain. Besides, even if you wanted to, you’ll never get everyone to love you.

Everyone Deserves a Chance




In the last few weeks, our rescue has brought in a deaf dog (Keller) and a one-eyed dog (Pirate). Both have great temperaments, both deserve a peaceful, loving home.

I also know that some of the sweetest looking pooches have given me the biggest headaches (see that picture on the left? That’s Ceili.  She’s my first pitty and the biggest pain in my … neck).

We are in an industry, where discrimination is tightly controlled through regulation, so the fear of the same reaction to customers that we experience with our pit bulls.

But, we are also in an industry where the collections process starts with the loan application. Take a look at your application process. Are you missing opportunities by not giving enough people a chance. There’s a delicate balance between loan loss and increased loan activity (especially in a risk-based pricing environment with proving to help off-sets loss). 

As a marketer, I wish everyone that came through the front door was our very best, most profitable customer … someone who we can help and who will sing our praises to everyone they meet. The reality if far different. We will meet more questionable opportunities than we like to admit. 

If you walk away with one message from this blog, I hope it is to help out a local animal rescue!

If you walk away with two messages, I hope it is that you will relook at some of folks walking through your door and give them a better chance.



We bring these marketing philosophies to credit unions and community banks nationwide, and would love to bring them to your institution too. Contact us to see how.

With nearly 285,000 visits worldwide, we hope that you enjoy this blog.  If you find it helpful, please share it with your colleagues. Also, check out our YouTube Channel for short video blogs about financial marketing.  


MarketMatch is also a nationally and internationally requested speaker. Contact us to bring our marketing ideas to your next conference.




Follow me on Twitter @egagliano