Ralph E. Grabowski - marketingVP - fact-gathering, analytical Marketing to steer the enterprise



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Established companies



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Ralph E. Grabowski
  Professional Practice  




Revive or re-start companies as a temporary executive

An established firm may experience a revival or re-start.  I am brought in for the revival in a line manager role, principally because of my experience in Marketing-driven turnarounds.  This is different from the staff role of a Consultant, and different from some turnaround specialists who seek to save a company from bankruptcy.

I may assume the responsibility of VP of Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), or Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  

My task is to revitalize, overhaul, and reposition for growth.  I help in the rebuilding process, and create or rejuvenate the Marketing department:

  • Assume command of the organization, or of the Marketing department, in teamwork with other executives  

  • Triage the engineering investment to focus for decisive, defensible competitive advantage

  • Stabilize or fix the selling process  

  • Re-establish the market segmentation, food chain, and distribution channels  

  • Quantify customer needs, payback, buying behavior, and perceptions to furnish detailed, unbiased input and direction for the engineering, Marketing, promoting, and selling processes; and for management decisions  

  • Conduct rigorous Primary Market Research to surface the facts and customer intent  

  • Develop Competitive Intelligence (CI), pricing, and positioning 

  • Define, refine, and launch new products

My focus is on the up-front Marketing process for established, technology-based companies, enabling clients to achieve their financial and strategic goals with strategy based on facts, not on wishes.  A broad background in technology lets me to relate to technologists.  Questioning skills developed over forty-seven years of Primary Market Research experience allow me to elicit customer input accurately and quickly; and to deliver intelligence, analysis, and actionable recommendations:


Forty-seven years of marketing experience

I bring forty-seven years of Marketing revival experience to your situation, supporting the rebuilding of companies and launch of new products and fields; which have become worth more than ten Billion dollars. 

  • Becton Dickinson Medical Systems (BDMS) brought me in to turn around the Patient Monitoring Systems unit after their market position had plummeted from #1 to #7, and the Division had become unprofitable and not saleable.

    In twenty-four months, in a zero growth market, I revived and grew BDMS to #2 in their market segment, tripled market share in the US, improved European market share from 7% to 35%, and increased Japanese share from 0.1% to 100%, while turning them profitable.  The Division was sold for a 50% premium.

    The MIT Enterprise Forum has featured this success lesson as "High Tech Marketing and Sales" for twelve years in what is now an MIT Sloan graduate course, "Starting and Running a High Tech Company."

  • Eaton/Nova employed me as Director of Marketing when they had not received any purchase orders for six months, (new orders) market share was zero, they were a few weeks away from shipping the last unit on backlog and shutting down manufacturing, and following the departure of the entire Marketing organization.

    I rebuilt the Marketing organization from zero and sold out the next eighteen months production in six months, putting customers on allocation.  This was accomplished in the face of severe competition, while simultaneously raising prices to bring ten points more to the bottom line, increasing market share from zero to 85%, and launching two new products.  Eaton/Nova Division of Eaton is now Axcelis, a separate public company.


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