A few years ago, quick response codes weren't even a viable option as a marketing tool. Now, with the rise of smartphones, tablets and other advanced mobile devices, QR codes are becoming an integral part to businesses' mobile marketing strategies.

A few years ago, quick response codes weren't even a viable option as a marketing tool. Now, with the rise of smartphones, tablets and other advanced mobile devices, QR codes are becoming an integral part to businesses' mobile marketing strategies.

According to a new report from comScore, more than 14 million Americans used their smartphones to scan QR codes or bar codes this June. Though QR codes were introduced nearly two decades ago, their utility has grown enormously in the last few years.

The study found that the majority of participants – 58 percent – scanned QR or bar codes at home, often in a printed newspaper or magazine. Many also scan codes at retail and grocery stores on product packaging, posters or flyers and storefronts.

QR codes can be used in conjunction with a content marketing strategy to lead consumers to a company's website and drive more business. When consumers scan QR codes using their mobile devices, they are taken to a website that offers information about a company's products or services. This, in turn, can be leveraged to fuel customer interest and generate profits.

“QR codes demonstrate just one of the ways in which mobile marketing can effectively be integrated into existing media and marketing campaigns to help reach desired consumer segments,” said comScore senior vice president of mobile Mark Donovan.

QR codes and other mobile marketing strategies will likely play significant roles in back-to-school shopping this year. As Brafton recently reported, a new study from Deloitte revealed that 64 percent of surveyed parents plan to use their mobile devices to search for local deals and promotions this year.