Top 7 Books for Ad Operations Starters

3 min readMay 21, 2018

Ad operations is a dynamic profession where wit, planning ability, and tech-savvy insight combine to juggle a multitasking endeavor. Therefore an environment like this demands a backbone of varied knowledge for long-term success.

To assist, we’ve compiled a list of must-read books for those looking to pursue a career in ad operations that even a seasoned pro would appreciate.

1. The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

by David Kirkpatrick

Kirkpatrick is a thought leader worth reading about and listening. The Chief Economist of Techonomy Media provides an insider view of the company’s rise, consolidation, projection, and vision.

Rather than an outside judgment; this is an authorized account of what goes on in Hacker Way, to follow up the initials ups and downs of the corporation.

Ad operations professionals will relate to how in its beginnings Facebook ad salespeople faced the need to recraft messages that were unique to the service, “in keeping with (Mark) Zuckerberg’s contempt for traditional advertising.”

They can learn more how they were looking for ad specs and configurations that both matched the advertiser and became useful for the user, adding value.

The book also follows the first approaches to the company’s monetization through ad sales, integrating sponsorships and ad insertions.

2. Targeted: How Technology Is Revolutionizing Advertising, and the Way Companies Reach Consumers

by Mike Smith

Mike Smith has become a best-selling author with this guidebook, which draws upon the lessons of companies, individuals, and innovations who have driven the revolution of ad sales software and technology.

At one point he quotes Ramsey McGrory, formerly head of ad network Right Media, telling ad operations staff to “embrace the murkiness.”

What does “murkiness” mean? Smith explains :

  • How real-time bidding has changed the game and the ad operations process.
  • How the complex map of ad technologies are interlocking.
  • The dynamics behind auctions and the development of paid search advertising and real-time bidding.
  • How companies such as Right Media developed their first ad server.

He underlines one of the leading challenges of ad sales: efficiency. Regardless of the benefits of online exchanges, the human factor is critical: most business takes place between publishers and advertisers, giving way to what he calls a “subjective judgment about how much a certain viewer seeing an ad in a certain place at a certain time is worth.”

3. Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry

by Marc Benioff and Carlyle Adler

This best selling book is nearly nine years old, but the lessons Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff give still ring true to this day. It is no wonder the company survived the dotcom crisis of 2001 and became a leader in cloud computing.

Benioff divides his volume into several different Playbooks such as:

  • The Start-Up Playbook
  • The Marketing Playbook
  • The Events Playbook
  • The Sales Playbook
  • The Technology Playbook

In the end, Benioff shares some of the strategies behind the development of his platform, and how it allows partners like us to flourish in innovation.

Originally published on May 21, 2018. To read the rest of the blog, check out




Publisher’s all-in-one business software solution for efficient ad sales management built on Salesforce with customers in 25+ countries.