If CMOs and CIOs had to make their relationship status public, most would have to check the "It's complicated" box.

Conflicting priorities and increasing competition for IT budgets are causing more and more friction between these C-levels—even as the need for a unified digital strategy makes cooperation more important than ever.

We are often reminded of that divide between Marketing and IT among our customers at Rackspace as we help them re-platform their websites and online stores. Those are complex, politically fraught digital assets tied directly to revenue, which makes them a common battleground for the marketing and IT departments.

But if they can't cooperate, they can't create consistent, relevant customer experiences.

The obvious solution is to build trust. But that's easier said than done when you consider the competing priorities, expectations, and personalities at play.

Based on our experience building bridges between CMOs and CIOs for the sake of a unified solution, here are four tips for a tighter alliance.

1. Respect each other's priorities

The Problem

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image of Kyle Metcalf

Kyle Metcalf is general manager, Rackspace Digital Practice, which offers specialized hosting for e-commerce and content applications.

LinkedIn: Kyle Metcalf