Costa, Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) and Pizza Express were among the winners at this year’s Marketing Society Awards for Excellence. M&B held off competition from Tesco, Standard Life and BSkyB to win the prize for customer insight Judges cited the company’s determined approach to gathering and understanding customer feedback for each of its brands, while also acting on it as well as “integrating it into the broader strategic agenda”. They said of M&B: “Consumer insight is being lived and breathed by all parts of the business”. Una Beck Johnson, director of Branding, Insight and Advertising for M&B, said: “Understanding what our guests really think and feel and using this insight to drive our strategy has helped us to grow our market leading restaurant and pub brands and will enable us to support further expansion.” Costa collected the award for global marketing, with judges highlighting that it had sent out a clear message to its arch-rival Starbucks not to rest on its laurels in a campaign “which set out to become the world’s challenger coffee shop”. Pizza Express won the cause related marketing award for its Christmas campaign with Oxfam. The campaign involved Pizza Express and Oxfam teaming up to buy 6,000 goats and other animals for poor families around the world. Its aim was to raise £150,000 for the charity, while encouraging consumers to shop in Oxfam stores and via its website. Judges said: "The initiative smashed its targets, raising £285,000 for the charity - enough money to buy 11,400 goats as well as other animals. The judges were particularly impressed by the degree of integration between Pizza Express and Oxfam."