10 Best Books on Programmatic Advertising: 2021 Edition

Programmatic advertising has brought about some severe advances in advertising technology. In the earlier days, ads were negotiated manually, and publishers and advertisers would reach an agreement to place an advertisement on the website for a given period. The same ad would show irrespective of who visited the site. Programmatic advertising uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to purchase ads in real-time. This eliminated the need for human negotiations and pre-set prices. It has made the purchase of advertisements more effective and efficient. If you are interested in programmatic advertising or media buying as a career or simply need more information about the same, we have listed some of the best books on programmatic advertising here. 

Programmatic Media Buying and Advertising as a Career Option

Programmatic media buying and advertising has now extended to a vast range of digital channels and includes video, social media, display, and mobile. Given that digital advertising has become so prevalent, the need to buy spaces and ads has increased exponentially. This has also created enough reason for traditional advertising channels to digitize themselves. Now, we see out-of-home media advertising programmatically via digital screens on billboards, shopping malls, and more. While earlier programmatic advertising was limited only to bug budgets, this is not the case anymore. The rise of self-serve tools has given smaller brands an opportunity and better access to technology to compete with the more prominent brands. This has presented programmatic media buying and advertising as an excellent career option. You can read some of the best books on programmatic advertising to gain more insight into it. 

Best Books on Programmatic Advertising: 2021 Edition

1. Introduction to Programmatic Advertising: Best Book on Programmatic Advertising

This book is an excellent and comprehensive first introduction to programmatic advertising. If you are new to this technology, this book will quickly get you up to speed. The book was intentionally made very short because it could be read over the weekend and used for reference. It outlines the essential technologies enabling programmatic advertising and introduces you to the programmatic ecosystem and its various players. It gives attention to ad trading and real-time bidding and data, and ad targeting. It further examines the opportunities mobile provides and the issues that are faced by programmatic advertising. 

2. Programmatic Advertising: The Successful Transformation to Automated, Data-Driven Marketing in Real-Time

This is known to be the fundamental guide to programmatic advertising. It explains how programmatic advertising works in practice and how the right adoption leads to a competitive advantage for advertisers, agencies, and media. The new way to planning, steering, and measuring marketing is complex but also seems very promising. They have thus brought about this collaborative compendium that is a combination of proven experience and best practices in about twenty-two articles that have been written by forty-five renowned experts from all around the globe. 

3. Data in Digital Advertising: Understand the Data Landscape and Design a Winning Strategy

Your ultimate guide into understanding the digital marketing landscape, Data in Digital Advertising has everything you need from the basic concepts to developing a successful data strategy. They explain where the advertising data comes from and its movement across the ecosystem. It helps understand what kind of data is available for advertising from third-party vendors and standalone advertising platforms such as Facebook, Google, or Amazon. It explores the Data Management Platforms in-depth and gives a detailed profile of all the known providers. Towards the end of the book, you are given a blueprint to design your successful data strategy.

4. Introduction to Algorithmic Marketing: Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Operations

Known to be the must-read, Introduction to Algorithmic Marketing is a simple and easy-to-understand guide to advanced marketing automation for marketing strategists, data scientists, product managers, and software engineers. It has put together the techniques that have been tested by the big technology, advertising, and retail companies and combines them with economic theory and machine learning. This book has covered all the primary areas of marketing that require programmatic micro-decisioning – targeted promotions and advertisements, eCommerce search, recommendations, pricing, and assortment optimization.



5. Ogilvy on Advertising in the Digital Age: Best Books on Digital Advertising

This is one of the best-known books by the most successful adman of all time. Ogilvy on Advertising in the Digital Age is filled with examples from Ogilvy’s campaigns for international brands such as Coca-Cola, Louis Vuitton, IBM, and American Express. These are some of the best examples to take from. This book also unravels the secrets of advertising and marketing in the twenty-first century.

6. The Programmatic Trading Manual: Trading Performance Strategies for Media Buyers

Known as the definitive guide to programmatic buying, The Programmatic Trading Manual provides insight into all performance areas for Programmatic Traders, Advertisers, and Agencies on running high-value online advertising campaigns using strategies and insights. They have explored all the primary variables of programmatic advertising and the ways to get the right user and pay the right price. This book contains several strategies to drive performance in programmatic trading and empowers the readers to make the right decisions.

7. Media Planning & Buying in the 21st Century: Integration of Traditional & Digital Media

This is the most recent and the most up-to-date book on programmatic advertising. This is one of the most comprehensive and easy-to-understand books that anyone could find on media buying and focuses on how to work with programmatic advertising in the twenty-first century. They have updated the book extensively and explained programmatic buying in length.


The future for programmatic advertising is very bright. Right now is the best time to hop on the trend and indulge in programmatic advertising. Accessibility is excellent right now, especially for smaller brands, and by reading some of the best books on programmatic advertising, you would get a better insight into it. 

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