How Will Digital Marketing Survive DPDPA?

One of the industries which is directly under threat of survival after DPDPA is the “Digital marketing industry”.

Marketing requires understanding the consumer’s buying behaviour and creating a communication that convinces the prospective customer that a given product or service satisfies the requirement of the consumer.

The principle of AIDAS namely, Creating Awareness, Generating Interest, Eliciting a Desire, making the product available and achieving satisfaction in the post sale scenario is the formula for successful marketing of any product or service.

If Marketing does not exist, then the products and services will wither away.

An excessive importance to placing restrictions on Consumer Marketing will eventually increase the cost of the product which will fall on the consumer. If the consumer is vary of bearing this cost, he will reject all offers other than the existing brands about which he already has some information. This means that “New Products” and “New Companies” will have a tough time to promote their existence.

Have we as Privacy professionals thought about the difficulties in “Profiling” and “Targeted Advertising” that any privacy law considers as abhorring?

Has the Digital Marketing Industry thought of how they will survive the post DPDPA scenario in India? . If they try any tricks to hood wink the consumer, they may be accused of practicing “Dark Patterns”. If they are too open and ask for consents, they need to be ready for about a response which will be not more than 1% .

If we look at the responses for “Pay Per Clicks” advertising vs “Banner Ads” and the responses in specific sites like Linked in vs advertising in Blogs we will understand that the Clickthrough rate for social media is around 1.36 % (Q2 2023 statistics). This is for a product which is advertised. If we consider “Request for Consent” as an advertisement, then the click through could be even less.

This means that to get 1 consent, an organization may have to spend cost of 100 notices. Currently the “Privacy Policies” as a “Declaration” does not require a specific consent.

This scenario is an existential threat to Digital Marketing Companies.

As consultants it is difficult for us to either advise an organization to ignore this risk or to provide a suitable compliance solution.

Unfortunately the Digital marketing industry and Internet advertising industry in India has not woken up to the problems and designing a sectoral approach to counter the business risks.

I invite industry professionals to write back and let us know what can be done in this aspect.


About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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