Sunday, November 24, 2013

Short Term 12

Short Term 12 was the toast of this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, winning both the Grand 
Jury Prize in the Narrative Feature Competition and the Audience Award.  
Told through the eyes of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility 
for at-risk teenagers, Short Term 12 is written and directed by Destin Cretton. Passionate and tough, 
Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge, and in love with her long-term boyfriend 
and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr). But Grace’s own difficult past, and the surprising future 
that suddenly presents itself, throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arriv-
al of a new intake at the facility: a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged 
While the subject matter is complex and often dark, Short Term 12 finds truth, and humour, in unex-
pected places.
SHORT TERM 12 – Written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. Produced by Maren Olson, Asher 
Goldstein, Joshua Astrachan, Ron Najor. Executive producers are Frederick W. Green, Douglas Stone, 
David Kaplan. Director of Photography is Brett Pawlak. Edited by Nat Sanders. Production design 
by Rachel Myers. Original Music by Joel P. West. Costume Design by Mirren Gordon-Crozier and Joy 

 “After I graduated from college, I couldn’t find work, and a friend of mine mentioned a
group home for at-risk teenagers that was hiring. It was by far, one of the scariest
experiences I’ve ever had – at first. I was really afraid of doing something wrong and messing
up these kids more than they already were. But after a month or so, I fell in love with it.», says
Destin Cretton.
This is an experience that stuck with the director. A few years later, he created a 20-minute
short for his thesis project, titled Short Term 12 – based on his experiences at the home. The
film went on to win the Jury Prize at Sundance in 2009 – and prompted Cretton to make a
feature version. “I was kind of a novice filmmaker, and somebody told me that if you were
going to Sundance, you’d better have a feature script ready. So I wrote one.” That script
eventually found its way to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where it was
one of five scripts in 2010 to win the Nicholl Fellowship. “That was a big stamp of approval,”
he says.
Brie Larson, who was filming another project in Georgia, was sent the script, and immediately
connected. “Within 10 pages, it was just a role that really spoke to me,” the actress says. “I
felt it had a lot of great architecture to it, and was just a big space for me to work and play
with.” She and Cretton spoke via Skype, and, says the director, “I saw Grace very quickly in
her. She was really funny, but she also had something about her that was extremely
thoughtful. She would stop and think about things, and it was in those moments where I saw
a combination of intensity and lightness, and I knew she would kick ass as Grace. And she
did.” The actress immediately dove in to develop her character, the director notes. “She
worked her tail off to get under Grace’s skin, and it was a joy to watch. She asked smart
questions and devoured as much information as she could, to become an expert not on
group homes, but on Grace – and the different things she could be feeling at every moment.
It’s the reason her performance is believable and realistic – she had a specific take on everything for her. She never does the same thing twice. Grace is continually walking the line
of being extremely vulnerable and being an extremely strong woman. And that’s difficult to
“Humor is very much a part of the reality of the group home setting – it’s part of survival
there. My character is kind of an anchor, in a lot of ways, for a lot of the mayhem that’s going
on around, both with things going on with the kids and with Grace.”, agrees John Gallagher
JR, who plays Mason “It’s something that I noticed when I went and visited one of the group
homes. The line staff keep it very light – nothing inappropriate, but they joke with the kids,
try to keep a friendly, happy, easygoing environment.”                                   

Saturday, November 23, 2013

International marketing planning model

International marketing planning model
A  surprisingly  large  proportion  of  sales  to  foreign  markets  are  made  in
response  to  chance  orders  coming  either  from  customers  who  are  international
players or from other sources such as foreign buyers attending a domestic exhibi-
tion. Such 'passive exporting' is not international marketing, although it contributes
to  international  trade.  It does  not  associate  with  the  central  principle  of creating
customer value  and  market  targeting,  there  i.s  little  assessment  of critical factors
for competitive success, and it is unlikely to build a long-term market position,
Limited  domestic  growth  and/or  intense  domestic  competition  is  a  key
reason  why  firms  enter  foreign  markets  and  was  a  prime  motivator  behind  the
Japanese  companies'  overseas  expansion   programme   during   the   1970s  and
1980s. In practice, many firms quickly suspend foreign market activity when the
domestic  economy  improves  or  when  they  fail  to  make  money  in  the  overseas
operation.  Finns  driven  to  exporting  because  of  domestic  recession  often  fail  to
anticipate  the  wider external constraints  to  doing business  in  a  foreign market
and tend to take a short-term orientation  to international marketing.3
Furthermore,  companies  that  are  struggling  to  survive  at  home  are  highly
unlikely  to  successfully  take  on  and  beat  sophisticated  competitors  in  foreign
markets.  The  domestic  market  must  be  secured  first  before  going  abroad  and  it
should  be  maintained  thereafter.  Japan's  top  two  car manufacturers,  Toyota  and
Nissan, are arch rivals at home. They took this rivalry overseas and in the process
have raised the level of competitive activity to new heights in North America and
Europe,  while striving to  remain strong performers in  their home base.
Geographic  market diversification to reduce country-specific  risk  -  that  is,
the  risk  of  operating  in  only  one  country,  due  to  different  political-economic
cycles  -  is  a  popular  reason  behind  firms'  international  expansion  drive.  Firms
must  understand  that  market  needs  may be  strikingly different,  even  for  appar-
ently similar products,  and  that different management skills and approaches are
needed  for  different  country  markets.  So,  managers  must  weigh  the  costs  and
barriers to global diversification against the benefits of risk reduction.

Firms spread  the costs of production over more units if output is expanded for
overseas  markets.  While  economies  of  scale  give  firms  a  strong  incentive  to
expand into foreign markets, the firm must also take on board additional adminis-
tration, selling, distribution and marketing co.sts. A 'cost-led' approach or a 'selling
orientation' in international marketing is unlikely to lead to long-term success.
Without  H  marketing-led  orientation,  where  customers'  needs  are  identified  and
satisfied, and  die  firm's  marketing  mix  adapted  for  the  foreign  market,  the  inter-
national business activity of the firm is unlikely to flourish.
In  summary,  firms  enter  overseas  markets  for  profits  and/or  survival.  But
firms  must  not  confuse  exporting  with  international  marketing.  The  latter  is
about taking a long-term perspective of foreign market potential and relentlessly
adopting a market-led  approach  to  identifying,  anticipating  and satisfying  the
needs of customers in target international markets.  Before going abroad,the firm
must weigh the risks and question its ability to ope rate globally. Can the company
learn to understand the preferences and buying behaviour of customers in other
country markets? Can it offer competitively attractive products? Will it be able to
adapt to other countries'  business  cultures  and  to  deal  effectively  with  foreign
nationals? Do the company's managers have the requisite international experi-
ence? Has management considered the impact of foreign regulations and political
environments? International marketing is really about exploiting market oppor-
tunities based upon sound environment and specific market analyses.

The Global Marketplace

This Blog discusses the importance of global marketing and explains the key
elements  of the  planning process:  analyzing international  market  opportunities;
deciding whether or not to go abroad; establishing market entry mode; allocating
resources; developing  the  marketing plan;  organizing for international  marketing;
implementing the marketing strategy; and evaluation and control.
Companies pay little attention to international trade when the home market
is  big  and  teeming  with  opportunities.  The  home  market  is  also  much  safer.
Managers  do  not need  to  learn  other languages,  deal  with  strange  and  changing
currencies,  face  political  and  legal  uncertainties  or  adapt  their  products  to
different  customer  needs  and  expectations.  This  has  been  the  attitude  of many
western  companies,  which  saw  little  need  to  sell  in  overseas  markets  because
their  domestic  market  alone  seemed  to  offer attractive opportunities  for growth.
Today, however, die business environment is changing and firms cannot afford to
ignore  international  markets.  The  increasing dependency  of nations  around  die
world on each other's goods and services has raised awareness among companies of
die need for a more international outlook in their approach to business. International
markets are important because most firms are geared towards growth and so must
seek new opportunities  in foreign countries as their domestic markets mature. As
international  trade  becomes  more  liberalized,  firms  are  facing  tougher  foreign
competition  in  the  domestic  market.  They  must develop  the  ability  to  fight  off
competitors  on  tlieir own  home ground,  or to  exploit business  opportunities in
foreign markets.
Furthermore,  time  and  distance  are  shrinking  rapidly  with  the  advent  of
faster communication,  transportation  and financial flows. Products  developed in
one  country  are  finding  enthusiastic  acceptance  in  other  countries.  Across
western  Europe  and  North  America,  names  such  as  Toyota,  Sony  and  Toshiba
have become household words in the same way McDonald's, Toys 'fl'  Us, Philips
and  IKEA are familiar names  to most young consumers in Asian  countries like
Japan, Singapore find Hong Kong.
Thus,  as global  competition  intensifies,  local  companies  that  never  thought
about  foreign  competitors  suddenly  find  these  competitors  in  their  own  back-
yards. The firm that stays at home to play it safe not only misses the opportunity
to enter other markets, but also risks losing its home market.
Consider,  for  example,  Japanese  victories  over  western  producers  in  ninny
sectors   -   motorcycles,   cars,   cameras,   consumer   electronics,   machine   tools,photocopiers. These markets used to be the stronghold of US, German and British
companies in the 1970s, but are now dominated by .lapanese manufacturers. The
latter  are  not  insulated from  foreign  competitors  either.  Increasing competition
from  lower-cost  newly  industrializing  countries  (NIGs)  in  the  Far  East,  notably
South Korea  and Taiwan,  are posing a big threat to  established Japanese  firms in
traditional industries like steel, chemicals and heavy machinery.
In  the United  States, American firms are fighting off aggressive  assaults  by
international  European   companies:   Die's   successful  attacks   on  Gillette   and
Nestle's  gains  in  the  coffee  and  confectionery  markets  are  a  reflection  of  the
growing  level  of  international  competition  in  'safe'  home  markets.  In  the
European Union(Ell), foreign firms'direct  investment is  on  the increase and
ititra-Union flows of investment in all kinds of business sectors - cars, clothing,
retailing,  financial  services  -  are  particularly  active.  Many  sophisticated  and
aggressive foreign companies also see the emerging eastern European economies
as longer-term opportunities.  So, more than ever, firms must learn how to enter
foreign markets and increase their global competitiveness.
Although  some  companies  would  like  to  stem  the  tide  of  foreign  imports
through  protectionism,  this  response  would  be  only  a  temporary  solution.
Suppressing a free  flow  of foreign  imports  would  lead  to  fewer  choices  for  the
consumer and higher prices for indigenously produced goods.  In the long run, it
would raise the cost of living and protect inefficient domestic firms. It also means
that consumers' needs and wants would not be met effectively and efficiently. A
better  solution  is  to  encourage  more  firms  to  learn  to  make  the  world  their
The importance of internationalization is also reflected by the fact that most
governments run an export promotion programme, which tries to persuade local
companies  to  export.  Denmark  pays  more  than  half  the  salary  of  marketing
consultants who help small and medium-size Danish companies get into exports.
Many countries go even further and subsidize their companies by granting prefer-
ential land and energy  costs -  they even  supply cash outright so  that  their  com-
panies can charge  lower prices  than do  their foreign competitors.
Today the pressure on firms operating in global industries is not just to export
to  other  countries,  but  to  strive  to  be  a  global firm.  A  global industry  is  one  in
which  the  strategic  positions  of  competitors  in  given  geographic  or  national
markets are affected by their overall global positions, A global  firm,  therefore, is
one  that,  by  operating  in  more  than  one  country,  gains  research  and  develop-
ment, production, marketing and financial advantages in its costs and reputation
that are not available to purely domestic competitors,2 The global company sees
the world as one market. It minimizes the importance of national boundaries, and
raises capital, sources materials and components, and manufactures and markets
its goods wherever it can do the best job. For example, Ford's 'world truck' sports
a cab  made  in  Europe  and  a  chassis  built  in North America.  It  is  assembled  in  and  imported  to  the  United  States  for  sale.  Thus  global  firms  gain  advan-
tages by planning,  operating and  co-ordinating their activities  on a worldwide
basis.   These  gains   are   a   key   reason   behind   recent   global   restructuring
programmes undertaken by leading German car producers, BMW and Mercedes-
Benz. Global marketing is concerned with integrating or standardizing marketing
actions  across  a  number of geographic  markets.  This does  not  rule  out forceful
adaptation  of  the  marketing  mix  to  individual  countries,  but  suggests  that  firms,
where possible, ignore traditional market boundaries and capitalize on similari-
ties between  markets  to build competitive advantage.
Because firms around the world are globalizing at a rapid rate, domestic firms
in global industries must act quickly before the window closes on them. This does
not mean that small and medium-size firms must operate in a dozen countries to succeed.  These firms can practise global  nichernanship. The world, however, is
becoming  smaller  and  every  company  operating  in  a  global  industry  -  whether
large or small - must assess and establish its place in world markets.
Firms  that  confront international  competitors  in  their existing markets  must
ask some  basic questions;  What market position  should we  try  to establish  in  our
country,  in  the  geographic  region  (e.g.  Europe.  North  America,  Asia,  Australasia)
and globally? Who will our global competitors he and what are their strategies and
resources?  Where  should  we  produce  or  source  our  products?  What  strategic
alliances should we form with other firms around the world V.