Much has been written about the tremendous promise personalization in marketing communications holds for business-to-business marketers, and there have been some tantalizing peeks at just how impressive it can be.

For example, Ari Sheinkin, VP of marketing analytics and media at IBM, relates that Big Blue realized a 1,654 percent increase in engagement rates on a section of its home page with some very minor personalization adjustments based on simply recognizing whether or not a visitor is a developer. That's an eye-popping number, and Sheinkin is hopeful it portends great things to come for IBM in the B2B personalization space.

However, Sheinkin is also quick to admit that it reflects "low-hanging fruit" in IBM's march toward more effective personalization, and he agrees with IBM CMO Michelle Peluso's reaction when she was presented with the data. "She said she loves the results she's seeing with our personalization testing, but she'll be really excited when it's about revenue," he points out. "Engagement rates are nice, but we don't make money off engagement rates."