Marriage2The CMO/CIO relationship often seems like one is from Venus and the other from Mars, and the stakes are growing for everyone to not only get along but to align priorities and work in lockstep, side by side. It’s an arranged marriage, but a marriage of sorts nonetheless.

A recent HBR blog highlighting results of CMO/CIO survey by Accenture points out that the pre-marital stats are promising: 69 percent of CMOs agree they need to align and interact with IT on their strategic priorities, up from 56 percent in 2012, and CIOs echo a similar increase in this sentiment.

But the challenges are also growing: According to the Accenture survey, 43 percent of CIOs say marketing requirements and priorities change too often for them to keep up. Demands include incorporating new data sources in marketing campaigns, and the CIOs surveyed also felt that CMOs did not anticipate new system needs far enough in advance. Of course, on the other hand, CMOs believe the CIOs don’t move quickly enough in response to new marketplace changes and opportunities.

That’s not surprising, and it’s also not the fault of the CIO. Data has become the lifeblood of marketing, and yet the need to integrate systems and merge data together is outstripping the velocity with which any technology team can integrate systems. Happily, and perhaps creating a happy-ever-after for the CMO/CIO relationship, indexing technology allows fast and flexible, virtual information integration. CIOs can build apps on top of a unified index quickly, and an index removes the need for in-depth integration because it virtually connects information in real time.

Support a new data source for a new campaign? Check. Create an engagement layer across all systems for the customer? Check. That elusive 360-degree view of customers and prospects? Check and check.

Now, what will all those marriage counselors do for a living?