NU Online News Service, Sept. 4, 4:15 p.m. – SAFECO Life & Investments, Redmond, Wash., now plans to identify distribution partners before it develops new insurance and investment products.

Randy Talbot, president of the SAFECO Corp. unit, calls the new marketing strategy “ready, fire, aim.”

“This is a major shift from the old product-first mode, where we readied a product, aimed it at our target market and then picked a channel through which to fire,” Talbot says. “Shortening our process helps Safeco deliver competitive products that satisfy customer needs quickly and cost-effectively.”

The strategy helped the company to bring its new Select Annuity, a fixed product, from concept to production in less than 60 days, Talbot says.

Brokers and agents have generated more than $250 million in Select Annuity revenue since the product was launched three months ago, Talbot adds.