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Purchase likelihood typically declines as the length of time since the customer's previous purchase ("recency") increases. As a result, firms face a "recency trap," whereby recency increases for customers who do not purchase in a given period, making it even less likely they will purchase in the next period. Eventually the customer is lost to the firm. The goal is to target a firm's marketing efforts keeping in mind the customer's recency state. We develop and illustrate a modeling approach todoi:10.1007/s11747-012-0312-7 fatcat:dzbujnlxobdpdpmj3nmklcxkb4