Paul Choi


This emerging marketing tool is helping businesses raise customer traffic and awareness.  For years 3Dmobimaps have been printing three-dimensional maps with landmarks designed to accommodate tourists. Just last year, these maps became available online and on mobile devices with more interactive features. This mobile application allows businesses to better communicate with their customers. This application allows businesses like restaurants notify people the hours of operation, the daily special, promotions and coupons. 3Dmobimap (online and in paper) separate themselves from competitors though using visually stimulating layouts, and quality material. Although it comes with an annual advertising fee, the increased potential revenue would make it a beneficial expense. 3Dmobimap’s success can be attributed to their strong distribution channels, in the city of Vancouver alone over 2.2 million people see the physical version of the map alone. 3Dmobimaps has yet to gather enough data to give the online statistics, but it would be fair to assume that it would only increase the total number of viewers.


3Dmobimaps is an interactive visitor map guide designed to assist visitors find whatever they are looking for. 3Dmobimaps was founded in 1997 and their objective was to provide three-dimensional maps that are easier to read, more interactive, while providing tourists a more in depth look at the city. They have sustained themselves through advertising revenue; 3Dmobimaps accepts a monthly fee and in turn places a landmark and the description of the business on the map. Since its inception, 3Dmobimaps has grown considerably. Today they print 2.5 million maps annually in British Columbia alone and almost 4 million across Canada. The company places great value in presenting quality information on a quality canvas and 3Dmobimaps prides itself on having the best maps in the business. Being 15 years old, this marketing communication tool may not seem like it’s emerging, but recent developments have made 3Dmobimaps an appealing modern marketing option. In 2012 the company launched their mobile application (in 8 languages to better accommodate non-English speaking visitors) and has plans to reboot and re-launch their website in about a month’s time. The application is already highly integrated with social media and will continue to keep in line with technological trends. 

3Dmobimaps has kept up with modern times in a world with constant changes in technology. The trend currently says that mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets will make physical maps obsolete; however, this company feels that no matter what there will always be old-fashioned tourists who prefer to use paper maps. No matter what the current trend is, 3Dmobimaps have gone out of their way to cover all angles to connect with a greater target market. Thorough analysis of current market factors and trends is helping this application successfully help outdated businesses better reach customers electronically. Even in today’s highly volatile technology market 3Dmobimaps has not diverted away from their traditional core value of providing the superior map. This is the same value that gave them such a strong brand presence in the city of Vancouver. In the city of Vancouver alone, 3Dmobimaps prints over 1 million maps annually, but because the 3D maps are superior to others, most establishments, hotels and visitors prefer these maps. Their excellence has helped them land high profile clients such as the Vancouver Aquarium, Donnelly Pubs and the Vancouver Trolley Company.

3Dmobimap’s Mobi-APPs is not a follower but a leader in innovation. Applications like Urban Spoon merely only display hours of operation, reviews, directions and at times the menu whereas the Mobi-APP gives businesses the flexibility to personalize and communicate the desired information to their customers (such as the daily special). This mobile application is available for download for all Apple and Android devices. 3Dmobimap is extremely integrated with other social media applications. They have a very active Twitter Account, and use HootSuite to effectively synchronize with all social media outlets in order to communicate right back to its core. Rather than traditional media outlets like television and radio 3Dmobimap’s integrates closely with hotel and visitor attraction partners. This company created a visually stimulating product that people crave and embrace; visitors are immediately attracted to the product as soon as they arrive. 3Dmobimap are members of Tourism Vancouver, Richmond Chamber, and Tourism BC so they can effectively use hotel and visitor attractions to fully realize the potential of the tourism market.

Although the primary target market of this application is tourists, the strong distribution channels allow Mobimaps to deliver to almost every individual business in the core tourist areas. This allows their product to reach the locals of the city on a consistent basis as well. One of the product’s strengths is brand image; Mobimaps uses this asset to attract businesses to their services. Since everyone recognizes Mobimaps, businesses currently advertising with them can also enjoy a rise in their brand’s awareness also.

Due to their effective distribution and high accessibility it would be a risk for businesses in high tourist areas not to subscribe and advertise with Mobimaps. Business owners may question the growth rate and longevity of this application, and consider it to be risky to pay for a service that they are practically getting for free like Urban Spoon. What they may not realize is that Mobimaps better targets specific demographics, thus communicating a more relevant and effective message. Current high profile businesses and clients using this service willingly distribute these maps because they see the revenue earning potential of this application. Mobimap’s strong position in the market should offset any concerns regarding Mobimap’s future. If this company continues to deliver high quality products and services, there is no reason why this company should not continue to grow and gain a dominant position in the mobile application market.

A business like Smoke’s Poutinerie in Vancouver could stand to benefit greatly through the use of Mobimaps. This up and coming franchise opened the first location in western Canada in 2013, and is still working on raising awareness for this new brand. Smoke’s Poutinerie serves products that are fresh, quick, flavorful, and trendy; and the priority for this business should be to capture and continue to ride this market trend. According to Mobimaps for every 1 map, there are 2.2 viewers. Since 1 million of these maps get distributed in the city of Vancouver alone, these paper maps reach 2.2 million people annually. These 2.2 million people do not even account for the people using Mobimaps online. Smoke’s Poutinerie is highly integrated with social media and uses it as an effective means of communication to their consumers.

Over the last 13 years, Mobimaps have reached very important and strategic distribution outlets. This company has secured successful high volume locations to have their maps viewed by everyone. Their hard work earned them the right to be in these locations, and it appears that this company is looking forward to rapid online mobile growth.

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