An example sentence from a market research company's website:
Having established relationships with departmental heads of such organizations helps us better target (the) desired audiences.
(I've reworked the sentence a bit; it says "required audiences" in the original)
The page makes no mention of the type of the audiences nor in any other way specifies them. Is the definite article needed there?
I've found instances of the desired audiences phrase being used without an article as well as with the definite article at Google Books:
If they fail to supply desired audiences, we should not consider them. If they do offer desired audiences, several additional considerations must enter the decision process.
By filtering viewers, controlling the frequency of ad exposures, and correctly positioning the ads within Web site pages, online ads can be a very cost-effective way to reach desired audiences.
MEDIA: A channel of communication enabling the organization to reach the desired audiences. Important external audience made up of local and national press; trade, technical, professional press; radio, television, that is all those who report corporate happenings to their audience. (link)
Why does the latter quote use the definite article? Is it because the exact nature of the audiences is pointed out in the subsequent sentence?